To see another self
. Colo. . . 2340 ..
. .. . July 4th . .
In 2328, John-Luc was two hundred twenty three. Now, today in 2340, he is two hundred thirty-five. Today is his birthday. John-Luc drove me to the hospital visibly shaken up by what he had seen on a screen. He refused to tell me what he had seen on the screen. He refused to turn it back on. He wanted me to see it for myself in the flesh. I found that a little odd. I could see gigantic dots in the sky.
Maybe those are just space junk.
Ever since the Tech Puppies invasion there have been precautions taken. Hospital buildings are capable of sliding their floors down underground like an elevator to a complete different building built underground. Most houses have another house underground that are connected to various other buildings due to tunnels that were built. John-Luc stopped the car right into the parking lot pretty white as a ghost.
"John-Luc, what is wrong?" I asked.
"I am scared." John-Luc admitted.
"Of what?" I asked.
"Losing you, again." John-Luc said.
I looked at him puzzled.
"I won't be going anytime soon." I said. "Besides I am a hundred twenty or something years old. Now that says a lot about me avoiding death!"
John-Luc brought me into a hug.
This time, it felt . . .different. . .and strange.
"Are you all right?" I asked, in concern after our hug ended.
"Just concerned." John-Luc said.
. . . 11:47 AM . . (18 minutes later)
. . .Colo's Great Hospital. . .
I let John-Luc wheel me into the elevator, guide me through the hall, and all the while I felt a strange feeling. Time seemed to extend. It was as if I had discovered a new meaning of time except it was going slower than usual. I had my hands in my lap. For being old I have seen my share of disabilities and horrors. Mostly medical horrors. One time I went to negotiate a ceasefire between two races that had some conflict of interest with Colo.
John-Luc suddenly stopped.
"This is where I stop." John-Luc said.
"Scared, eh?" I said.
"Go in." John-Luc said.
The door opened for me.
"Scaredy cat." I said.
I wheeled right into the room.
I covered my mouth once all the way in the room. I understood now why the blinds were closed. I understood what freaked John-Luc out. I saw a younger version of myself on the bed lacking his ears. I saw his Star Fleet uniform that was a dark tint of gray along with a red shirt underneath. I lowered my hands coming to the side of the man. I saw he had a belt around his waist that seemed to be the kind some Vulcans would wear when going out into some form of combat in a war zone. It was human like. One of the pocket buttons were opened.
He was on life support with a mask on.
The biobed read slow life signs ready to just fall into the bleak of death.
"Jean-Luc Commander Quarty!" I heard a all too familiar voice.
This was my splinter self.
"Come on, old man," I said, wheeling around the bed. I came over to the combadge then lightly tapped on it. "Ambassador Quarty here." I cleared my throat expecting this man to be undoubtedly confused. "Your commander is on Colo."
"There is no such thing as Colo." Jean-Luc said.
"What planet are you above?" I asked.
"It looks like Earth. . .But it is not." Jean-Luc said.
"Can you see my face?" I asked.
"Yes, you are an old man." Jean-Luc asked.
"So typical," I said. "I am so unrecognizable as an old man."
"Ambassador . . . Is that really your home planet?" Jean-Luc asked.
"Jean-Luc, has it even clicked in your head?" I asked. "You speaking to the other Quarty. The Prime Original Q. But very, very, very old. Your Quarty is . . . sadly . . . Slipping away."
"I refuse to believe he is slipping away!" Jean-Luc said.
"So typical," I said. "Perhaps. . ." The nurse came in. "Nurse!"
"Yes, Ambassador?" The nurse asked.
"Make this man new ears based on my model from when I was younger." I said.
"But we can't do that without consent from his family." The nurse said.,
"Did you hear that?" I asked. "Jean-Luc? Do you consider him part of your family aboard the Enterprise?"
There was a long pause.
"Ambassador, you are supposed to be evacuating." The nurse said.
"Why?" I asked.
"There are Klingon ships attacking several cities heading their way here," The nurse said. "If you stay then you will die."
"This is my home and I am not leaving it because of some Klingons!" I told her.
I looked over seeing my splinter self's eyes had shot open. He was panicking. I could tell by his eyes. I grabbed him by the shoulder making him turn his head toward my direction. Now, the universe did not end in the moment we faced eyes. He was so lost and confused. So young.
He had three pips.
"You are going to be okay, Commander." I signed.
I take my hand off his shoulder as he opened his eyes.
"Your ears are gone," I signed. "Did Captain Kurva do this?"
It was a long bet.
I could read his eyes that went along the lines of 'yes'.
"Yes." Jean-Luc said, finally. "We do. Nurse, you have our permission to give him new ears."
"I will get the earlier models of your ears prepared to be recreated,Ambassador." The nurse said.
"Can you do it in a day?" I asked.
"Two hours." The nurse said.
"Go." I said.
The nurse left the room.
I looked down to my splinter self.
"It is my fault you are in this mess," I said. "My fault . . ."
"Ambassador," Jean-Luc said. "Can we try to help?"
I gazed toward the combadge feeling guilt ridden.
"Yes. . ." I said. "And Mr Picard . . ."
"Yes?" Jean-Luc said.
"Your first officer wouldn't be here if I stayed on Scalos." I said. I then signed to my other self, "I am Ambassador Quarty of the planet Colo. I am the other you that Kurva must have babbled about. Don't stop fighting for your life. Never stop fighting to live."
"Scalos," Jean-Luc said. "That planet has been under the no-visit zone for one hundred years."
"Maybe not tightly." I said.
"Jean-Luc out." Jean-Luc said.
I wheeled out of the room leaving my splinter self on the bed with my head lowered.