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Dox Maturin



Personal Log - 0707.30

The Corpse


Dox Maturin knelt on the thin carpet of the bridge beside the still body of Ensign Fodder. Liquid pooled beneath the young tactical officer's head. Behind them on the wall a corner of the bulkhead was dented and splattered with red, and the monitors of the science panel below it were streaked with the same blood. Though Maturin had tried to wipe some of it off with his bare hands, it was still smeared across the black glass.


"Is he dead?" Claire asked as she knelt next to Dox.


He simply looked at her and nodded. It was too crowded for him to address her, and certainly Joy would have noticed if he had. He reached down and felt for the ensign's pulse. There was none. But just looking at him, his head split open and his eyes wide and empty, there was no mistaking that he was dead.


Claire cried.


5 Days Ago


Stars streaked by the small view port in Vex Xiang's quarters. The room was full of water, to accommodate the dolphin-like physiology of the scientist, and made the stars wave and shimmer. Xiang stared at the communications panel in the room, the worn face of a blue-shirted officer on it.


"You do not look well, Mr Copper," Xiang addressed him. Lieutenant Copper did indeed not look well. Though the background behind him was bright and clean, his face was smeared with dirt and he had a weathered look.


"Things are not well, Mr Xiang," Lieutenant Copper smiled grimly at his old friend. "We are at war. Some don't think we're going to make it."


"I have faith," Xiang rolled slightly, "in you and the Excalibur. You will prevail. She always has. Yet I sense that you are not sending this message to discuss Excalibur. What can I do for you?"


Copper sighed, his shoulders slumping. "There is something I have been meaning to ask you about. You asked me to watch over the new officer, Dox Maturin. I've been noticing some peculiar behavior, and really I only mention it because he has been assigned to some rather important duties lately, including on the bridge. I have not mentioned it to the department head, only because I trust that you would not do anything to hurt Excalibur or the science department, but I am growing concerned."




"For the most part he is friendly and is adjusting well to the crew," Copper then frowned, "but I have witnessed on several occasions when he is alone, he sometimes talks to people who are not there. And sometimes there is something in his eyes. He's different. You've kept me in the dark on this too long. Can you tell me..."


"Maturin is schizophrenic," Xiang suddenly cut him off in mid-sentence. Copper remained silent, the blunt news shocking him, so Xiang went on. "It is a neurological anomaly that does not show on medical scans. When I and the counselor here on the USS Relica identified it, we knew it was a rare condition we had not yet encountered. We believe he is victim to hallucinations, and that the schizophrenic break occurred due to post traumatic stress. Likely, his experiences in the war. Losing his lover, his unborn child, and enduring horrible torture. It is not surprising that his condition surfaced."


"How," Copper furrowed his brow, "could it go unnoticed by the medical officers who examined him? I know a little about schizophrenia, and I know a simple genetic history trace would have rooted it out, if not the abnormality itself."


"As I said, it is something rare, for which there is no treatment. The chief medical officer here and I agree that it may have been something artificial. Something done to him. He has no memory of anything prior to the age of 13. He could have been exposed to any number of phenomena that can create neurological anomalies in a growing, undeveloped mind. Further, there is no genetic history of him at all in historical records."


"None? How is that possible?"


"It is more common than some would like to admit. A human raised on a distant world, their family and medical records not kept or erased by war or political uprising. A technophobic family on Earth not submitting to genetic tracing. There are many explanations for why Dox Maturin seemed to appear out of thin air at an orphanage in England."


"And you don't think this is a danger? Is it really wise to have someone with an unidentified personality disorder running around the ship?" Copper crossed his arms.


"Starfleet cleared him for duty, and so did I. We worked hard together while he was under me, using delpin meditation to control his psychosis. I believe he has it well in hand."


Copper sighed and nodded. "I see. But if I witness anything dangerous, I will report it. I'm sure you understand."


Back in the Smoke


Dox lifted himself up off the floor and took his seat at the science station, wiping his hands on his uniform to clean some of the blood off. While Claire stood behind him and cried, Dox sat emotionless. He ran his fingers through his hair, pulling it away from his forehead to wipe a bit of sweat away, coating the black hair with blood in the process. He tapped a request to medical to have someone remove Fodder's body. It was a shame, he thought, that he really didn't feel anything for the dead Fodder. That was what war did, he supposed. It made you cold. Among other things that it did to you. The madness that can come of it. Dox only knew too well.

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