[Here, Doc Ferrell wants to learn more about Meriel. It's his responsibility to assure the crew of the Tiger is stable. Ferrell thinks Meriel is dangerous - 'cause she is. .. .Ray]
(c) 2014, Benjamin R. Strong, Jr.
Dr. Ferrell opened a bottle of whiskey and poured himself a drink while waiting for Meriel’s file to appear.
“Open private journal. Create new record,” Ferrell commanded his link. “Title Meriel Hope. Ship ID. Subtitle summary of confidential file review. Entry. Time stamp.”
When the link chimed, he used hand motions to project the data on the wall to scan the file.
ET/2177:38:57 Enterprise Independent News Wire: LSM Princess (GCN 13442:88), family merchant ship, found near Enterprise outer beacon, Procyon system with only one survivor from an unexplained tragedy. Unfolding.
Well, that’s pretty sketchy. He did a quick search on comp with Princess and survivors and turned up only the same article.
ET/2177:38:59 Global News Network:
LSM Princess attacked in deep space by unknown assailants. Unidentified surviving minor in protective custody. Station authorities deny rumors of piracy…
Someone buried the story ten years ago. That would have made her almost twelve.
ET/2177:105:19 Meriel Hope:
Daughter of Esther and Michael Hope. Born ET 2165:85. Residence: family merchant ship Princess until attack ET.2177:37:10. Princess severely damaged and recycled. Details sealed by order superior court 4, Enterprise, to protect minor.
ET/2178:102 Meriel XX: foster child in protective custody of Enterprise Station. Released to unidentified merchant vessel, Cargo-0 trainee.
Huh. Unidentified vessel. Witness protection? he thought. So what did she witness? The next item was a news vid dated ET/2181:86:13.
"This is Lance Freiden of GNN on the dock of the LSM Thrace. Sixteen-year-old Meriel Hope has surfaced today after four years in protective custody. Hope is the only survivor of an attack on the LSM Princess. Claims of piracy have been repeatedly dismissed by authorities…"
He searched the net for more information about the Princess and Meriel but found nothing. That’s it, he thought. God, what a childhood. He scanned the training and certification logs.
“Rated nav-two, logistics-five,” Ferrell said into his link. “Ambitious.” Only twenty-two and made logistics-five. Admirable, he thought. “Marine-three.” Yikes, what’s she preparing for? He waved his hand to skip forward to the arrest record and keyed in his ID for access to her private records.
ET/2181:83 Dexter Station. Aggravated assault. Ruled self-defense.
ET/2183:147 Ross Station. Resisting arrest. Charges dropped.
ET/2184:220 Wolf Station. Disorderly conduct. Charges dropped.
ET/2184:259 Lander Station. Aggravated assault on a bouncer. Charges dismissed as self-defense. Treated in blue-zone infirmary and released to outpatient physical therapy.
Ferrell smirked. “Journal entry. Subject has evidence that she is not invulnerable,” he said.
ET/2185:315 Ross Station. Disorderly conduct. Charges dropped. Doctor testified as personal reference. Released without charges.
Here we are, Ferrell thought.
Tests: EMR 485. STM 223. KRTT 454, Briggs and Hall E3R4
“Tests out as a loner and driven,” Ferrell said into his link. “E3R4 borderline psychotic. Request data that produced that score.”
ET/2180:115:19.50 LSM Thrace (GCN 23492:06) X. Johansen, PhD.
Quick learner. Highly motivated. Gets along well with crew.
Continuing nightmares of childhood trauma on Princess. During therapy, she still speaks of the Princess as her ship and plans to reclaim it. She also speaks of getting custody of the other children previously from the Princess and chartering routes in Sector 42. Requests to the captain for legal assistance have been denied. Court records are sealed, and no evidence has been found of legal rights to, or existence of, the Princess or any other survivors…
Ferrell poured himself another drink. “No evidence of any other survivors.” She was alone but thinks that the other kids are still alive. “Survivor’s guilt,” he said aloud. Damn, that’s tough.
Diagnosis: severe neurotic delusions, bordering on psychosis. Severe agitation occurs when delusions are challenged. Well-adjusted teen as long as fantasy remains intact. Continuing to work with her to adapt to the reality that all of the crew and her friends on the Princess were lost.
Prescribed mandatory antipsychotics. Psychogel-H (H1804-005) (aka Aristopine).
“Private journal entry,” he said. “Adaptation to trauma by creating a fictional reality. Truth too difficult to face head on.” So which world is she living in now?
ET/2184:115:20 LSM Commodore Levski (GCN 65512:43) Dr. Botev
Excellent crewmember. Commendation for diligence.
Resistant to therapy and analysis. Not willing to discuss the events on the Princess. Court records are sealed, and no evidence to substantiate delusions. Continuing mandatory antipsychotics.
ET/2186:152:12 LSM Jolly Roger (GCN 41223:21) Dr. L. Kustenov
Excellent crewman. Eager to work.
Bailed out on Lockyear for illegal tranq boost. Reluctant to discuss it. Continuing resistance to therapy and analysis. Will discuss nothing of the events on the Princess. Continuing mandatory antipsychotics. Check of comm traffic (Cpt’s approval on file) indicates communication with a low-rent lawyer (J. Bell esq. of Lockyear). Discussions confidential, but believed to regard custody of the Princess and the fictional orphans. As long as she has that fantasy to structure her reality, she appears in control. Without it, or the meds, her stability is uncertain.
ET/2186:283 Captain’s commendation for exceptional service. Unconditional recommendation.
Ferrell paced the three steps across his tiny office. Damn, he thought. The entire crew was killed—parents, kids, everyone. Man, what hell she must have been through, and maybe still going through. How could she survive? How’d she get back to a station? He sat down at the console again and drummed his fingers on his desk. Delusions and barely in control, never lost it on duty, but maybe dockside at Lander Station. Now she’s brought this cheap lawyer into her fantasy world?
“Append file, Meriel Hope,” Ferrell said. “Entry, ship ID, time stamp now, name. Begin entry. Hope comes highly recommended. No meeting yet to form professional opinion. Continue mandatory medication. Close entry. Append private journal. Entry. Insufficient information to modify treatment. Monitor to assure continuing medication. Recommend continuing trauma-counseling therapy. Close record.”
I sure hope she opens up to someone about this before it eats her up, he thought. Poor kid. It’s a shame what happened to her.
Ferrell poured himself another drink, which emptied the bottle. Huh. Whiskey rations get smaller every year that I’m out here..
(c) 2014, Benjamin R. Strong, Jr.