In theory then, I should have been satisfied with that. It is quite feasible that, just as some Humans show more telepathic ability than others, one Human might be more resistant to a Betazoid's telepathy than another, but I doubted it, not without specialist training as Karl had suggested. I had to confirm my species.
Having taken T'Roc's advice and memorised the ship's schematics, I headed directly to sickbay without diversion. It was only as I ploughed in through the doors that I realised how possessed I was, or rather, the looks on the medical teams' faces told me.
Having plunged through the doors, the three members of the medical team looked up, startled, and I caught sight of my reflection in the glass panel opposite. I hardly recognised myself. My fists were balled, my head thrust forward, my eyes narrow and my stance aggressive with a look of stolid determination on my face. That wasn't like me at all ... or was it? Is this how I look when I have my mind set on something?
"Good morning Cadet."
To the far side of the room, a man had appeared, tall and with hair as white as platinum. He was of mature years, in his early fifties I'd say, and Human. His uniform and insignia told me that he was the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Bertram Roosevelt, and he looked at me with pale blue eyes and deep concern on his face.
"Terran, sir. Jenny Terran."
"Doctor will do, Cadet, and what can I do for you? You seem a little ..." his words trailed off.
"Um, yes ..." I paused. Everybody was still looking at me and I didn't want to do this in public. Suddenly I felt silly. What was I supposed to say?
"Could we talk in private?" I enquired.
"Yes of course," and he swept his hand in a graceful arc indicating the way. I followed his direction, entered his office and took a seat while he claimed his behind the desk, leaning back leisurely.
"So, how can I help you?" he asked, his voice gravelly, yet gentle and tolerant.
My mind began formulating the question into something less dumb than 'excuse me, doctor, but am I Human?'
"Am I Human?" I asked.
My mind had failed miserably and his eyebrows rose in humour. However, he said nothing as he accessed his database and studied the records.
"Well, medicals to date indicate you are Human and you certainly look it to me, but I suspect that you have a reason for asking."
"Might something have changed since my last medical?" I pressed.
With a patience gained from years of dealing with sickly young crewmen, Dr Roosevelt rose with a medical tricorder and began to waft it around my head and torso.
"Not that is immediately evident," he assured me softly. "So what has happened to make you suspect something is amiss?"
I must have stared at him for a while as I debated because he pressed me further. I was wishing I hadn't come. I was feeling rather stupid: behaving like a hypochondriac new crewman, but I knew I had passed the point of no return. If I left his office now and said nothing more, my strange behaviour would be logged as just that. So with reluctance, I told him about the events in Starboard-7. Dr Roosevelt listened intently until I finished my tale.
"Okay, but let's put this into perspective. This is probably nothing," he soothed, and I had to agree with him. "But you'd like to be sure."
"Well, that's not a problem. I'll take some scans and monitor your neural patterns for a day."
"That means wearing a scanner, doesn't it?"
"Yes. Is that a problem?"
"I'd rather people didn't know."
"Didn't know what? That you might be a Human with an unusual ability to avoid telepathic reading?" he smiled. "Or are you thinking something more sinister?"
I baulked because he was right. I hadn't realised it but I was actually frightened about what I might find.
"You can always explain that having heard about your ability, I was the one that approached you about this, if that would make you feel better."
It did, so I agreed.
About forty minutes later, after a barrage of scans and sample taking, I left sickbay with a small neural scanner attached to the side of my temple. I thought it would annoy me, but it didn't. I was hardly aware of its presence at all.
The rest of the day passed without event, although when I got back to my office, I found a communiqué waiting for me: an invitation to join a large group of the former Drakonia crew in Starboard-7.
I was a bit dubious about going at first. I wasn't sure I wanted to meet Karl again, but then thought what the heck. If Dr Roosevelt wanted neural readings, perhaps seeing Karl again would encourage a repeat performance of my telepathic cloaking device.
I was glad I went too. It was the first real opportunity I'd had to see everyone again: Al, Luke, Arcaran, Icarus, Gideon, Midas and most surprisingly of all—Rutter! We did look a hotchpotch of species too, but as we chatted away, my troubles were soon forgotten. Even Karl was 'normal' around me.
So what have the others been up to?
Al, as you know, is part of the Security Team and Luke has got the promotion he so yearned for: Lieutenant, Junior Grade. He is still posted in Engineering, which is his area of expertise, but has more responsibilities which pleases him no end.
Arcaran, our Andorian, who had been reluctant to join the Earhart, was much happier now that he was on board. He had been invited to enrol on a number of training courses to develop his skills, particularly piloting and survival.
Icarus, who had not been posted to the Earhart originally, had applied to join the Science team here. He had joined Starfleet in General Maintenance as it was the only available opening at the time, but it was a waste of his skills bearing in mind his extensive list of scientific qualifications gained in civilian education. He was delighted therefore, when his application was accepted after just one short interview with T'Roc.
Gideon always accepted whatever life threw at him with a cheery smile, so nothing had changed there, but Midas?
Unbeknownst to me, with true Vulcan logic, he had signed up to the PDP too and spent his three months at the Luna Shipyards under the guidance of Doctor Leah Brahms studying warp technology and propulsion. On the Drakonia, he'd also been in maintenance for similar reasons to Icarus, namely that it was his only way in. He had no formal training in engineering, but he was born on board his family's cargo ship. A civilian ship, it was their home as well as their livelihood and from a very early age, he would be found in the engine room with his brothers, keeping the ship moving. He was, therefore, just formalising his qualifications.
As for Rutter, well, it was quite odd seeing him sitting among us all: Klingon, Vulcan, Andorian, and I wondered who had invited him. It turned out he came with Al! That was a turn-up for the books!
The evening passed very quickly and I admit, I was the first to retire. I was shattered and was feeling a bit guilty about leaving Beastie on her own for so long.
As I ambled down the corridors back to my quarters, I was debating the curiosity of deck numbering. Starboard-7 is on Deck 7 but we call it G Deck, so why is it sometimes called Deck 7 and sometimes G Deck? I had just concluded that it was to do with the Designers preferring numbers and the Developers, letters when, without reason, I suddenly stopped.
I turned around and looked about trying to figure out why. Was I expecting to see somebody or find something lurking in the shadows? But I was alone and there were no shadows.
Still, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck prickle and a cool shiver run down my spine for no explicable reason. I brushed the sensations aside as whimsical and carried on my way wondering if the Earhart did have ghosts after all.