Chapter 8 - For The Good Of The Species

Since she was one of the only women there, Keiko O'Brien awoke in a private section of the Pershing General Psychiatric Ward, one that might otherwise be reserved for a visiting dignitary in need of care. But it was the same place Max Klinger had been kept, during his "treatment." Any VIP would have to go elsewhere.

The entire psych ward was, for all intents and purposes, the private bulwark of Doctor Dorian Taylor. More than her department, it was her fiefdom. When Sherman Potter allowed this, he had no clue that he was, slowly but surely, surrendering control of his hospital to a very smart lady whose agenda tied in with some very grim forces.

These forces, within and without the governments of the world, had told people successfully that Roswell merely involved a weather balloon, and that any rumors of a big-eared alien looking to make a weapons deal with Truman were just that- rumors. They were able to clear meteorites containing extremely viable samples of non-terrestrial DNA from the site of a KTO medical facility. They were able to order that Medical Unit's first commander to keep his mouth shut on this subject. When that CO was headed home, they were perhaps even able to enforce that silence under the guise of enemy fire-quite permanently.

In 40 years time, this Project : Immunita would serve as the second tier in a vast conspiracy involving human-alien hybrids. It would also serve as the backbone for an underground of genetic supermen, manipulating events where they could, such as Bleeding Bosnia, and moving forward with shows of strength when necessary. In a pompous and yet quite compelling speech in 2003, their leader - Khan Noonien Singh would name Doctor Dorian Taylor as his 'Mother', "If such as I could be said to have a Mother."

Right now, Keiko O'Brien was at her mercy. "Mother" was one of many words that Keiko might use to describe this woman who had tricked Max Klinger into committing the woman he firmly believed to be his wife, Soon-Lee. She checked herself. Thankfully, she was dressed, though in one those supremely awkward 20th Century hospital gowns, the ones she was sure were invented by someone with an obsession for a certain part of the human body. It didn't matter, though. With her body belted to the bed, she couldn't get up anyway. She almost felt grateful that she was not strait-jacketed. But her anger at this bizarre circumstance arrogated any relief at minor comforts.

"Doctor Pulaski."

Keiko stirred. Dorian Taylor was speaking to her, indeed hovering over her. Her face could not hide the hatred she felt for this woman.

"What did you say?"

"I didn't. You did. Right before you were sedated, Soon-Lee, you looked at me as though we'd never met, and said, "Doctor Pulaski? Here?" What did you mean by that?"

"I was confused, Doctor Taylor. My husband had just locked me away on the word of a woman who apparently has Father Mulcahy's confessional bugged in some way. I confessed that strange daydream I had, and you used it to put me here for some reason."

"Nice try, Soon-Lee. You really are cleverer than you seem. But you were sobbing, and tried very hard to convince Mulcahy that you are your own descendant, Keiko O'Brien-Kirk, Commander Of Deep Six Nine in the 24th Century, leader of the Bajor unit. Am I correct?"

Keiko managed to avoid smiling.

"Gee, those microphones picked up absolutely everything with clistal crarity!" Keiko hoped the arrogant doctor wouldn't detect the deliberately slurred words. She didn't.

"So you concede that you do have this delusion of a future life, likely in some egalitarian society where an Oriental girl like yourself can rise to the top?"

"Firstly, Doctor, I am not an "Oriental Girl", I am an Asian woman. And why not concede my delusion? After all, you're admitting to bugging a Confessional! I'd rather have my delusion of --Deep Six Nine-- than your apparent delusions of grandeur, any day of the week, and twice on Tuesday!"

The Doctor was not even listening to Keiko.

"Firstly, 'Asian Woman' , if you try to tell anyone about my --double-blind-- research conducted with Father Mulcahy's unwitting help -- well, let's just say that gown can be lost and a strait-jacket gained. Not to mention the company of a few guards I know whom the female patients don't really like to be left with. Secondly, that voice! That diction! Your markedly increased vocabulary! All signs that direct treatment is perhaps unneccesary. It seems that by virtue of being with Max and bearing little Maxine, genetic enhancement may have already taken place. That's good, really. I was starting to run out of the pure batches. A diluted batch will be all you'll need. The resulting enhanced sexual drive will have you and Max happy and productive-especially productive. Maxine's little brothers and sisters will make the end of the 20th Century a paradise of strong, able individuals, reaching for the stars."

To a person like Keiko, from the 24th Century, Doctor Taylor may as well have been a World War One Austrian Corporal, bragging in 1917 how he would one day deal with Europe's "undesirables."

"My God. You've genetically accelerated Max! Maxine was concieved after...The Eugenics Wars! Doctor Taylor, you have to stop this! Your experiments, however well meaning, will lead to hideous wars of genocide late in this century!"

It all made sense now. Max's almost obnoxious efforts to bed his unwilling "wife". The oddly calm way Max seemingly gave in to Taylor's request. Both signs of the personality detachment that Julian Bashir had spoken of as happening to him, upon his early childhood enhancement. No one could be more detached, though, than Dorian Taylor.

"A bit histrionic, aren't we, Soon-Lee? Oh, I forgot, you're from the future. it's my fault, really, apparently the second-hand effect of my treatment caused the unintended derangement I noted in some, like poor dear Eddie. A booster shot, if you will, should complete the process of emotional release. Your Max will have his wife back, and at the same level as he. You'll be like newlyweds for decades to come. A pity I can't study the main subjects, but that's another part of our little venture. We call it ...."

Keiko, shaken, finished for her. She was stumbling, badly, and needed to see some hope soon, or lose her mind to despair.

"You call it Immunita. Where I come from, everyone knows about Immunita. A project that works under the guise of dealing with viruses that out-evolve antibiotics. But its true purpose would have done 'Uncle Adolf' proud. In fact, considering how many of his scientists were in on the ground floor of all this, maybe he is proud, somewhere in Brazil! The same old wolves over sheep garbage that has plagued our race since before we could think! My only question is, how does a staff psychiatrist at a VA Hospital, in 1956, come across the material and knowledge to genetically enhance anyone?"

Keiko was grasping at straws, hoping to scare Taylor somehow. But the Doctor wasn't thrown off. Far from it.

"If I were a Nazi, Soon-Lee , would I be giving this incredible gift to you or Max? I think not. Would I be the only one in my family to support my sister's marriage to Joseph Pulaski? Yes, that name again. Even delusions like yours have connective threads with reality. As for the rest, I was a biochemist, minoring in biophysics. An incredible find - on the site of the 4077th, no less, gave us access to meteorites that may contain still-living material from other worlds! Humanity is being bumped up the long ladder, and you and Max are Patients Zero in this effort to overcome our limitations as a species. Believe you me, if the other parts of our project should succeed, humanity will need to be advanced. That one little psycho with his chain-smoking....he actually tries to hide it! Him and his friends are REALLY dangerous. You're lucky you ended up with me."

"I don't feel so fortunate myself, Doctor Taylor. And, for the record, I was wrong. Except for certain facial characteristics, you are NOTHING like the woman I thought you were. She found people like you reprehensible."

Keiko determined that, if she ever returned to her own time, she would get in touch with Kate Pulaski. She had to know, even if the truth hurt. But here and now, the woman everyone believed to be Soon-Lee Klinger was running out of hope. Then, in walked a thrill of hope, in the person of Father Francis Mulcahy. Behind him was Colonel Potter. Apparently, Keiko's harsh words to Max upon her committal kept him away.

"Soon-Lee, you shouldn't say those kinds of things to Doctor Taylor! Especially in my presence! I am the Lord's ---Emissary--- in this place. Why, for that kind of talk, I should quote to you from Isaiah, Ezekiel, and perhaps some other --timeless Prophets. Why, when it comes to evil and sin, I'm kind of a heavenly--Sisko--kid!"

Colonel Potter stared hard at his friend.

"Padre, is your collar too tight today? What in bloody blue blazes are you jabbering about, man?"

Keiko, whose upper body restraints the Father undid despite Taylor's objections, smiled for the first time that day.

"It all right, Colonel. I wish to speak to Father alone for few minutes. All right with Doctor and Colonel?"

Imitating what she believed Soon-Lee's style of speech to be, Keiko convinced Potter to accede to her request. Taylor made a mental note to speed up her plans regarding Potter.

"Oh, Father will you forgive me for yelling at you? How do you know those things?"

"If you'll forgive me, Keiko, for not believing in you and apparently allowing one of my most sacred vows to be violated without my knowledge. Dorrie-is not quite the person we thought she was. I don't know how I'll approach Colonel Potter on this, but I will. As to how I know, lets just say some confused and confusing Angels wearing MASH clothing told me the woman speaks true. Still can't account for that odd fellow with no features. I'd swear he changed shape, as well!"

"Well, Father, it only makes sense. Those "angels" are the ones who got me into this mess. Them, and a good friend who's really lucky I owe her the life of my son!"

As Keiko and Francis tried to reason a way to get her out of Doctor Taylor's clutches, some 450 years hence, a dillemma threatened Worf Rozhenko of the Houses Of Mogh and Martok.

"Station's Log, Lieutanant Commander Worf reporting. The station has fallen to a force of what I can only describe as pure chaos in human form. Because of the critical role he plays in the History Of The Federation, I may not move to control him, even in a limited way. It has only been 12 hours, but everyone, including my wife, dances now to the tune of irresponsibility this mad trickster plays. His friends are of no help, for they are too dumbstruck by their new surroundings. The name of this force of chaos is....."

"Oh. Sorry to barge in, Worf. Listen, your son and his two friends wanted to hear my and Trapper's story about trying to get that boot. Oh, you better make reservations at the holosuite--Quark tells me that nurses' shower program is a REAL hit. He's ticked, though, cause I cleaned him out at Dabo. Remember, you and Jadzia, me and Margaret, at Vic's place tonight. Abyssinnia!" The man left.


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