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BACKPOST: Admiral Lockwood the Spiral Begins...

Posted on Sat Jul 25th, 2020 @ 8:37pm by Commodore James Lockwood

Mission: Into The Delta Triangle
Location: Seattle, Earth
Timeline: Backpost...

 

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Lockwood’s Home – Private Study (Behind Closed Doors), Seattle, Earth
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Lockwood sat, his hands neatly folded in his lap as his solemn eyes fixed on the Barzan doctor who sat across from him. He was dressed in his civilian clothing, the collar of his sweater curled up around his throat. His face emotionless, his shoulders hunched. The room of Lockwood’s study was dark, there was no lighting only from the sun which peaked in from a distant window. The two sat in the dimly lit room in silence for a moment before Lockwood finally spoke, “Just say it. Tell me. I haven't been feeling like myself. Something is wrong, I know that. Just tell me what it is.” His voice was firm but steeped in an eerie sort of calmness.

“Very well. The condition is called Talzonic Disease. Starfleet Medical has been studying it for the past few years. It attacks the nervous system, resulting in the decay of frontal and temporal lobes. Slowly at first; but the decay becomes more rapid over time. It is extremely rare, and in Humans it is nearly unheard of; but there have been cases. In all cases the deterioration has been painful, and there is no known cure. To start your high brain functions will be affected – intelligence, reasoning, logic to name a few. Your speech will be affected – disjointed, broken, you will slur your words. Secondly, you will experience intense hallucinations. Your mind will become so broken, no treatment will be able to help you distinguish between what is real and delusion. Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are very common. In the third phase, muscle loss is imminent. Your skeletal structure will become rigid and fragile. Every inch of you will be attacked, memory and body. You will eventually be unable to carry out basic daily functions. You will cease to be you. Your mind will drift in and out of consciousness until death. Death is final. The disease is terminal,” the doctor concluded as she readjusted her mouthpiece.

“How long?” Lockwood’s lips parted as his fingertips scraped along the edges of his jaw.

“That is difficult to determine for a human. My surmise would be 2 to 4 years. That is my best guess. But, it could be significantly less.”

“What can be done?”

“There are treatments. Some experimental drug therapies.”

“What drugs?”

“Well drugs that can lessen the pain, help you focus - TelroyC. But, any drug used can have unknown effects on your mental functions. We will experiment. We will have to see how your body and mind react. You should talk with your loved ones. Make sure your house is in order. Make sure your loved ones know how you want to be cared for. You should appoint someone who can make decisions for you when you no longer can...”

“Decisions?”

“Yes. There may be occasions where you become violent, erratic, someone will need to know if you want to be restrained or medicated. When you can no longer feed yourself, who will? What medical technologies will you avail of? You will also have to consider how best to end your career. You need to think about these things, have these difficult conversations now – while you still can. The time will come when you will require 24 hour care. We have support groups like…”

“Stop…” Lockwood lifted his hand toward the doctor.

“Sir...”

“Stop!” He shouted, and abruptly stood to regain his resolve. He swallowed hard as his hands rubbed down over his chest. The doctor stood too and approached him. Lockwood paused and stared out the window. His eyes gazed out across his resort - at all that his family had built over the years. His eyes turned to the doctor now, as a gentle smile appeared on his lips. The eerie calmness returned as his eyes softened, their corners wrinkled as they did, “Thank you doctor. That’ll be all.”

Lockwood pushed his feet against the polished floors, and made his way around the room, “You are new to Earth and Seattle, so you wouldn’t know. This is my estate. The Lockwood Estate. My father built it himself - decades ago. He walked into The Hoh Rain Forest, just northwest of here and cut lumber for it himself. Every material in his house was built with his own hands. His own sweat and blood. People come from all over the galaxy, and they all pass his Estate… now my Estate on their way to a Federation Embassy just a few blocks away...”

He paused to look around as if he were listening to the walls talking, “Just like the building of this Estate, I have worked tirelessly toward building my career. I won’t give that up. My story, the Lockwood story is far from over. You said, I have to end my career…” Lockwood cocked his head and looked directly at her, “That is just something I won’t do. No… this is not the end of my career. It is not even the beginning of the end...”

“But, sir… Starfleet protocol states...”

Lockwood interrupted… “I don’t get back to my family’s Estate as much as I like. My Admiral duties often pull me around the quadrant…” He took a deep breath and continued, the woman backed up and pressed her back against the wall as he moved closer to her, “When I was a small boy, I looked at the stars and dreamed of what might be. Everything always led to Starfleet. Starfleet is everything that I am. People like me have poured their sweat and blood into going boldly. This Estate and my legacy as an Admiral is a monument of that. But, my work isn’t finished. I’m not ready to give up. Starfleet demands more of me. I demand more of myself. Talzonic Disease be damned. I will not abandon my duty!” His words were absolute, the last sentence yelled with fierce force, as he turned his gaze away from the doctor to the window curtains. His hands reached up to pull the curtains fully closed.

“Admiral Lockwood!” The female doctor shrieked as the room darkened into shadows, the last of the sun’s rays bleed out.

“The people mustn’t know,” Lockwood whispered.

 

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