Chapter 14 - Back from the Dead

Millie gave a quiet sigh as the privacy screen was put up around her biobed. She unzipped her uniform jacket, folding it and setting it on the end of the bed.


Chance had been told by one of the nurses that he had a patient who had just been transported over.  There seemed to be some drama about the other vessel, but he would find out about that later.  For now, he approached the privacy screen.  “May I come in?”


Millie looked up, seeing the shape outside of the screen. “Sure, Dr. Crow.” She fiddled with her gloves for a moment before placing her hands in her lap.


Without hesitation, he passed through the partition.  He froze when he saw who was sitting there, until he could find his voice.  “M-Millie!  You’re alive..?  What happened?”


Millie managed a smile, but it looked forced. “Yeah, I know, right? It’s a…really long story.” She sighed quietly, but still forced the smile on her face. “They said I would need a full battery of tests.”


He wondered who “they” were, but that could come later.  For now, he concentrated more on the rest of her statement.  He pulled out his tricorder,taking out the small probe that would take more precise readings.  “Do you know of anything detrimental I should be looking for?” he asked as he slowly waved the short wand over her head and down her body.


Millie’s smile seemed to waiver. “I…I’m not sure.” She paused. “I’ve been gone a while, so the Captain wanted to–to make sure I’m okay.”


He nodded as he continued to hover the probe over different parts of her body.  The readings started scrolling through his tricorder display, and after a few minutes he frowned.  A healed broken elbow.  Multiple fractures in multiple phalanges, also all healed. And it all showed as fairly recently.  He checked them against her last physical, and sure enough, there had been no sign of them at that time.  


Chance put the tricorder down and looked at Millie, worried.  “Where were you, and what happened?”


Millie’s expression wavered again, this time a flash of fear working across her face. “Where…what does everyone think happened to me?”


He raised a brow.  She was evading his question.  Buying time? Maybe.  Whatever it was, she’d been through enough, so he didn’t press her more, yet.  “You were lost in a transporter pattern buffer.  We all thought you’d…died.”


Millie visibly flinched. She sat in silence for a moment. “How did Patricia handle it?”


The doctor sighed.  “Not well.  She…I dunno, pulled away some?”  He paused, snapping out of those thoughts.  I’ll get back to that in a bit.  Where were you and what happened?  I’m showing multiple bone fractures that have been healed.”


“She needs to think that I’m fine.” Millie was quiet as she looked up at Chance. “That I came through the transporter unscathed and unharmed.”


Chance looked at her, confused.  “I don’t discuss patient issues anyways, so that will be up to you to tell her, but you still haven’t answered my questions.”  He added, “Do you know who did this to you?”


Millie nodded. “Which is why you have to promise me that you won’t tell Patricia.” Millie said softly. “If she finds out, we…we might lose her.”


He took a step back.  “I…can’t make that promise, especially now.”  His mind worked furiously to figure out who she could possibly be talking about, interrupted by the idea that if she was swearing him to secrecy, perhaps he didn’t want to figure it out.  “You don’t have to tell me who, but I need to know what happened to you so I know how to treat your injuries.”


Millie looked down at her hands in her lap. “I was–taken. I…fought back. That’s how I broke my hand and elbow.”


He sighed, it was a bare-bones answer, but he wasn’t sure he could get anything more out of her at the moment.  So he scanned the previously-fractured areas closer with the tricorder.  “Is there any lingering pain in any of these locations?”


Millie shook her head. “They were quick to repair my injuries. They don’t hurt.”


He nodded, “That’s good…I guess.”  He scanned her more.  “Do you have pain anywhere else?  Did they do anything else to you?”


Millie shook her head again. “Just some medical tests. I just…need to learn to throw a better punch.”


“Medical tests?  Do you know what tests?”  He didn’t really expect her captors to have kept her informed, but there was always the possibility.  “Do you know how long you were gone?”


“Two and a half weeks?” Millie looked up again. “And the medical tests were just…routine?” The last answer seemed to make her nervous, and she looked past Chance to the security screen behind him.


He nodded.  Her timeline was correct, so she didn’t have lost memories.  And most everything else was reading normal.  Her adrenaline numbers were running a little high, but that wasn’t surprising.  Her worry about whatever her secret was getting out was the likely culprit.  “I’m not seeing any other problems, but if anything starts feeling off, I want you to come see me.”  He paused.  “Also, if you need to get anything off your chest, I’m here…and we can call it Doctor/patient confidentiality.”  He was nervous to hear information that conflicting, but it was part of his job.


Millie nodded. “I…appreciate it. I’ll be okay. I just…want to make sure Patricia’s okay.”


He raised a brow, confused and curious.  “You’re the one who was presumed dead, and now that you’re back, there’s evidence you were injured, possibly tortured, and you’re wondering if she’s okay?  How is she involved?”


Millie let out a shaky breath, glancing past Chance to the privacy screen behind him, as if concerned. Her eyes met his. “James. He’s the one who took me.”


Chance closed his eyes and sighed. “Dammit…”  He knew this was the information she was swearing him to secrecy earlier.  To be fair, he wasn’t sure if he was keen to pass the news on anyways.  The last thing he wanted was her darting off after him.  Initial reaction behind him, he put aside his protective instincts and brought his attention back to Millie.  “Did he do anything to you?”


Millie looked down at her hands. “He…planned to, I think.” She gave her head a shake. “I don’t think he’ll bother us—” she caught herself. “Me. He won’t bother me anymore.”


The doctor’s brow inched up.  “What makes you say that?”


“His father intervened. I…have his word that James will no longer disrupt my life.” Millie’s eyes went to the hands in her lap. It wasn’t an outright lie.


If he noticed that she couldn’t look him in the eye, Chance didn’t show it.  Instead, he merely nodded.  “Good. That’s best for everyone.”


Millie nodded. “And it’s best that Patricia knows as little as possible.”


“Like I said,” he replied, “Doctor/patient confidentiality.”  He took a deep breath, knowing if it came back, that was a thin veil to hide behind. But he didn’t see any other option.  Back in the present, he referred back to the tricorder.  “Physically, you are otherwise good.  Because I know we can be the worst patients when it comes to asking for help, I’m going to recommend you talk to someone, even if you set it up over subspace.”


Millie nodded. “It…wouldn’t be the first time.” She forced a smile on her face.


Chance watched her leave, and wondered if her news could be kept under wraps.  He’d have to be ready for Trisha’s reaction if it couldn’t, and hope by the Prophets that he could keep her from hopping on a shuttle to take whatever action she thought was appropriate.  


He sighed and gathered up his tools to sanitize and put them away.