Delta Wild – Chapter 4

“Computer, run program ‘Velocity’.” The holodeck doors opened, and 14-year-old Dani Janeway walked into the simulated game room. Her fingers danced over the computer console near the holodeck entrance. A blue disk appeared in the air near the middle of the room. It levitated patiently while Dani entered the commands for a playing partner. The partner, a holographic man who appeared to be in his early thirties, and two game phasers appeared. The partner and Dani each picked up a gun. “After you,” the man said. Dani nodded. She pointed her phaser at the floating disk and fired. The disk ricocheted off the back wall. The man shot at the disk. The game had begun.

30 minutes later, Dani found herself in sickbay with a sprained ankle. Everything had been going fine until about the fourth game. She had been going for a particularly difficult shot when she’d slipped and fallen on her ankle. The injury was so bad, they’d had to beam her to sickbay.

The Doctor waved a medical tricorder over the now-healed ankle. “Hmm…you’ll have to stay off of it as much as possible for the rest of the day, but it should continue to heal quite nicely.”

Dani slowly rotated her foot. Her ankle still hurt a little but not nearly as much as it had when she’d first injured it. Maybe her mother wouldn’t have to know after all. She looked from her ankle to the doctor.

“Doctor, you practice doctor-patient confidentiality, don’t you?”

“Why, of course,” the Doctor answered. “I am, after all, a professional. Whatever takes place inside this room is confidential.” He saw Dani close her eyes and breathe a sigh of relief. “However, your mother already knows about your injury.”

Dani opened her eyes and looked at the Doctor.

“Mr. Kim informed her of the internal transport,” the holographic image explained. “Bioscans alerted her that it was you and that you were injured.”

The sickbay doors slid open and Kathryn dashed in.

“Dani!” she said, walking over to the biobed. “What happened? Are you alright?”

Just then, Chakotay came through the sickbay doors.

“What happened?” he asked stepping into place on the side of the biobed opposite Kathryn. He looked at Dani. “They told me you were transported here.”

“She was,” the doctor answered. “She was unable to walk.”

Kathryn looked at the Doctor, then Chakotay, and finally at Dani again. She stroked Dani’s hair, which was still damp from the sweat she’d worked up on the holodeck.

“Are you alright?” Kathryn asked Dani.

“Oh, yes,” the Doctor said, answering for the young teen. “Just a bad sprain. She’ll be up and around in no time.”

“What did you sprain?” Chakotay asked.

“Her ankle,” the Doctor said.

“How?” Chakotay asked. This time the doctor did not answer. However, neither did Dani. She just looked down at the bed.

Chakotay looked to the Doctor. “Doctor, could you tell us how Dani sprained her ankle?”

“Why certainly,” he said. “She was on the holodeck playing Velocity.”

Dani looked at the Doctor in disbelief. She couldn’t believe he’d told.

“Hey! What happened to doctor-patient confidentiality?” Dani asked.

“It’s still being enforced. What’s said in this room won’t go beyond these walls,” the Doctor said.

“I should’ve realized it sooner,” Dani said. “Of course it won’t go beyond these walls when you’re confined to them!”

“Well, now that they know, maybe we can avoid another incident like today’s. Besides, what would you have me do? Lie to the two senior officers on the ship?”

“Yes,” Dani said. She looked at her parents. They did not seem at all happy. That little comment she’d made had probably just made the hot water she was in about ten degrees hotter.

“Thank you, Doctor,” Kathryn said, dismissing him. He obediently left the three of them alone. “Velocity, Dani?”

“Yes,” Dani replied quietly.

“I’ve told you you’re not ready for that game,” Kathryn said. “You’rreflexes aren’t quick enough, yet.”

“Mom, I was doing fine until I fell,” Dani argued.

“Okay, so why did you fall?” Chakotay asked her. Dani didn’t really have an answer for that one. The only plausible explanation was that her mother was correct – her reflexes weren’t good enough. But there was no way she could admit that. If there was one trait she shared with her mother, it was stubbornness. So she just shrugged her shoulders.

Chakotay and Kathryn glanced at each other.

“Can you walk?” Kathryn asked Dani.

“I think so,” Dani said.

“Good, because you’re going to need to,” Kathryn said. Dani immediately took this as a sign that punishment was imminent. She hopped off the biobed.

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