"Temporal Insanity Part XIV: Release"
1 Week 5 Hours After...
"Nurse I've spoken to the counsellor I've had more tests and drugs pumped into me than I care to think about and I've been in this room for over a week… please tell me you're walking over here to let me go" Quentin said almost in a mock pleading way. "You're in luck sir; the doctor's have just signed you off as being fit to return to duty and your psyc. Evaluation has confirmed this" she said with a smile and then added as a joking aside "you're free to go". "Finally" Quentin said stretching himself out as he got up from the bio bed that had been his home for the duration of his stay in medical. He dressed quickly in some civvies and couldn't wait to get back to his quarters to shower and put on a uniform and return to duty. He guessed that he would also need to speak to the Commodore and get the debrief from the rescue mission. He also hoped he would get some time to appreciate the work put in and see what the planet was like now. It had to be better than that cold frozen wasteland which he had been confined to. "Thanks for everything" he said to the nurse as he headed out of medical. He grimaced with the pain in his abdomen and ribs. Still bruised and battered he couldn't tell what would heal and what was to be a constant.
Reaching into his trouser pockets he pulled out a small stainless steel vial and knocked back a couple of painkillers and carried on moving towards the turbolift. He sighed he refused to let himself break up until he was alone in his quarters. He had a dying urge to tell Verity… well that was wrong; a pang of guilt that he had gone against her wishes of keeping safe and should let her know. Finally he arrived at his quarters and went inside the dark room. He didn't bother to illuminate the chamber and he felt weird for being back here… it had been so long since he had stepped inside his quarters and it was somewhat comforting to know that it was in exactly the same condition as he left it. He crossed the room to the large sofa by the window and collapsed down into it. For a moment he was ok; he seemed to be coping and then he turned and saw the planet that had taken so much from him. He couldn't blame them though, he'd done his duty, and it was what he lived for. Although now it was what he would die for. Almost immediately he broke down, the once strong Xenexian was now huddled on a sofa in the dark sobbing. He couldn't cope with this hell that his body was going through and reached for the whiskey bottle on his coffee table. Picking it up his hand was shaking as he poured himself a large glass and knocked it back quickly. Instantly he felt rage build up inside himself for being so stupid and threw it with all his might, the splintering of the glass on the wall echoing as the only sound in the deathly silent room.
The broken man continued sob before taking several deep breaths "GET A GRIP!" he shouted at himself half tempted to slap himself into normality. "GET A GRIP!" he shouted again. "Computer… Computer play music file Calhoun-1-Alpha-1" he said shakily. "Full volume" he added as Ave Maria blared out into the darkened room. He closed his eyes as the old earth classical song begun. The soothing tones of the woman singing comforted him somewhat yet their melancholy sadness of the melody didn't help to improve his mood. Still shaking he reached for the bottle again and the other non-broken glass and continued to drink until his head felt lighter and the pain wasn't present. He knew it was a temporary solution and he hoped this breakdown would be just as temporary, he longed for normality. Quentin looked back to the window and caught a glimpse of himself. He was thinner than before, unshaven and looked pale. He was a shadow of his former self and continued to sob releasing the emotions of the hell he had put himself through. He caught a glimpse of his purple eyes, and something stirred inside of him. He couldn't tell if it was the music or the drink but looking at himself, right into his soul he could see hope, the former happy-go-lucky eccentric engineer, the man who got excited about new developments and trying new theories to prove them right. He couldn't help but laugh at this point; an almost out-of-body hysterical laughter filled the room as he shook his head. "Quentin you mad bastard… you bloody moved a planet through time" he exclaimed to no-one in particular and poured himself another glass knocking it back as quick as he could. He looked at the nearly empty bottle. He would have to acquire another one as soon as possible, luckily he had ensured that he brought a case with him and had them stored in one of the smaller cargo-bays. There was no chance he would be drinking Synthehol any time soon. He laughed again as the music reached its crescendo. He felt somewhat more like himself the more he looked in the purple eyes, synonymous with a Xenexian and he couldn't help but wonder what Verity would have made of his crackpot plan or for that matter his tutors at the Academy.
At this point with half the bottle of whiskey gone he couldn't work out if he was sad, happy or anything. He wasn't in pain and that was the main thing. He closed his eyes and took some deep breaths and leaned back as the song drew to a close and the next one begun. He sighed and let himself release the angst, the anger, the sorrow, the sheer amazement it had worked… he would allow himself this one night to mourn and then it had to be back to business. People were relying on him after all to fix the ship up ready for the next step into the unknown whatever that would be. No one would see this vulnerable side to the Chief Engineer; he was there to provide a leader to his department, if he couldn't hack it then there was no chance that they could. As the classical music faded and a twentieth century swing song, I'm Feeling Good begun blaring out into the darkened room. Quentin had a particular liking for this old Earth music and somehow it always seemed to bring him round to his senses and made him feel more relaxed and better about the situation. This song in particular resonated with him about how he needed to feel. He couldn't help but sing along as best he could; while he didn't have a phenomenal vocal range it was decent enough not to cause people running and screaming with the horror. Perhaps that was his way to cope now, when it got to him; sing the song.
He threw down another couple of pills and washed it down with the final glass of whiskey and leaned back into the sofa. He couldn't help but turn back to the window and look at the planet, it looked stunning as the sun banked round from behind it. He hoped they were happy with the new home. He hoped they would survive. He felt a strong sense of attachement and affection to the people there… he had given part of himself to ensure they could have all of themselves and that made him smile again. "Who said… Who said chivilary was dead?" he slurred to himself as he took a deep breath and let out an even deeper sigh. For now the whiskey and the music was making him feel somewhat better. He was going to die in twenty years and feel pain every day until that point. There was however nothing he could do about it, there was no one to blame and more importantly he had saved them. with the last sip of the whiskey now sliding down his throat he held the glass up to the planet. "Cheers" he said with a grin as he drifted off into a much needed sleep. The humour, the cheeriness all a façade for the horrific sense of loss and pain now buried deep within. He couldn't however let it out again; he needed to keep strong… he needed to be normal.
Lieutenant Commander Quentin Calhoun
Chief Engineering Officer