Chapter 3.3 - Sharon
At Sharon’s house.
Sharon: I analyzed a sample of the drug you gave me… I think I’ve identified its effects.
Jan: I’m sorry to be such trouble. I never wanted to get you so involved…
Sharon: Oh, don’t apologize. It’s a doctor’s job to oppose the development of new drugs.
Jan: I’m sorry.
Sharon: There, apologizing again. Listen, all humans are caught up in something bigger than themselves. It’s up to each individual to decide what to do. You don't just... spread trouble wherever you go.
Jan: I’m sorr… wait, no… I apologize too much, sorry. Ah, no, I did it again…
Sharon: You know what?
Sharon: You’re a gentle person. But you’re afraid of hurting people who are close to you. It’s as though something horrible happened, and you shut off your heart.
Sharon: It's just a feeling I have. I was the same way after my husband died. Even though there’s a brightly colored world out there, I sought refuge in a world of ashes.
Sharon: I’m sorry. It was just idle speculation. About this narcotic… it’s not functionally different from other drugs. Upon administering it, it binds to receptors in the brain and causes a pleasant sensation. But…
Jan: But… what?
Sharon: This particular drug has the added effect of hyperstimulation of the limbic cortex.
Jan: Stimulation of the limbic cortex? That would diminish the restraint of instinctive behavior. Is that the only difference from normal drugs?
Sharon: …Yes. My concern is that the people of the Immigrant Fleet are trying to develop the limbic cortex, as the Abraxians once did. The ability to control instinctive behavior also develops in the hypothalamus. And that part of the brain produces opioid peptides that cause pleasure and craving.
Jan: So it gives you an endorphin high. Then you’re saying that Voyager could use the narcotic on himself to satisfy his own craving. But Voyager’s actual goal is to 'harvest' the program…
Sharon: …Yes, I’ve wondered about that as well. What could he mean to accomplish by 'harvesting' it? While I was investigating the victims of the narcotic, something occurred to me.
Jan: What is it?
Sharon: The origin of the Abraxian people. Once upon a time, the people of the Immigrant Fleet called us by a special name…
Jan: A special name? This is the first I’ve heard of it.
Sharon: That’s not surprising… I’ve only heard it once myself, from my grandmother. I had completely forgotten it until this most recent incident. The name they gave us was… “the people of Zohar.”
Jan: The people of Zohar!?
Sharon: As a child I didn’t understand the meaning of that name… but I remember my grandmother explaining it to me. It was something about a people who were united by their faith.
Jan’s communicator starts ringing.
Jan: What is it?
Melisse: The information we got from Veritas is better than I expected! I basically learned the whole story of the Descendents of Nestorius. And guess who’s behind them!?
Jan: Hold on… is this connection secure?
Melisse: Relax… Mikhail made a specially customized line. It’s absolutely impossible to tap.
Jan: Alright… then, the patron of the Descendents is…?
Melisse: …Dmitri Yuriev.
Jan: Dmitri Yuriev? The government representative? I’ve heard he carries a lot of clout among the Federation’s 'salvators.'
Melisse: The one and only. It’s no wonder we couldn’t find any real information about the Descendents. The organization itself is a front for Yuriev’s so-called “activities.” We were looking for something that doesn't even exist.
Jan: I see. That could be trouble. I’ll return to the station immediately. That information from Veritas… should be handled carefully. Return to HQ, and make sure that you’re not followed!
Melisse: Understood. Oh, Captain! Is Doctor Rozas there?
Jan: …Uh, yes. How did you know?
Melisse: Just a hunch. Could you ask her about the lost data from the nursing plant?
Jan: Oh, that…
He hands the communicator to Sharon.
Sharon: Melisse? The equipment at the hospital is undergoing maintenance, so I haven’t made much progress beyond thinking about it. But it should be ready at the beginning of next week and I can resume my investigation then.
Melisse: Thank you, Doctor Rozas. Well, I’ll see you at the base, Captain.
Jan: Acknowledged. …Wait, before you go, can you put Mikhail on?
Melisse: Mikhail? Okay, switching to him now.
Mikhail: Ah, Captain! Did Melisse tell you about Yuriev?
Jan: Yes. Are any government officials besides us aware of this?
Mikhail: …Possibly. Right now I’m pretty sure the only people that know are the people that heard it from Yuriev’s own lips… even though we were able to find out the truth, I don’t think any of our colleagues have figured it out yet.
Jan: Alright, but now that we know it’s only a matter of time before they notice what we've done. Until then we can’t afford to engage in combat.
Mikhail: Got it. We’ll get back at soon as we can.
Jan: And about Melisse…
Mikhail: ...I know. I thought you might worry about her! You know, sometimes she seems as moody as a little girl, but at the core she’s a reliable young woman. I wonder if the degree to which she acts on to her own convictions is right. …But she has me firmly by the reins, so…
Jan: …Do me a favor. Take care of her.
Mikhail: No problem! That’s our Captain. Whatever happens, you always care for your subordinates! See you at the station!
Jan ends the communication and sits down in a chair.
Sharon: You must be very busy.
Sharon: What’s wrong?
Jan: It’s nothing. I’ll just be nervous until I’m sure Melisse and Mikhail are home safely.
Sharon: You really do care for your subordinates. Well, why don’t we talk about something light until you can relax?
Jan: Something light? Like what?
Sharon: No altruisms, just gossip or something.
Jan: I see. Well, there is something I wanted to ask you. Your name is Sharon, right?
Sharon: My name…? This is a topic of interest all of the sudden?
Jan: I’ve heard that it was the name of something a long time ago. There was a beautiful land by the name of Sharon…
Sharon: Yes, it does derive from that.
Jan: It’s written that it was a land of eternal peace. That in all the desert, it was the only place brightly colored flowers would bloom.
Sharon: Hmm… When you put it so nicely, it makes me smile.
Jan: When I’m near you… you and Joaquin… I feel happy. That… that ashen world you mentioned… I feel as though I’m emerging from it.
Jan: Even I don’t completely understand this feeling. But…
Sharon: Hey, this is starting to sound like a confession of love…
Jan: To the rest of the world, maybe it is. I’m sorry, I can’t say it very well…
Sharon: …You’re sorry?
Jan: Damn, I did it again…
Sharon: Well… without apologizing, will you let Joaquin and I look out for you?
Sharon: Day and night?
Jan: Yes... please do.
Galaxy Federation Police Station, Chief’s Office
McCallum: You’re getting married!? You!?
Jan: Thanks for the vote of confidence.
McCallum: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any offense. I was just surprised. You always kept people at a distance after what happened with your parents.
McCallum: Everyone’s way of life is different. You walk a different road than your parents… I’m sure you’ll do well.
Jan: Thank you.
McCallum: Doctor Rozas… I’ve heard she has a little boy…
Jan: She does. Why do you mention it?
McCallum: His father was the same age and rank as you when he died.
Jan: You said I walk a different road than my father. I fully intend to survive.
McCallum: I hope so… good luck to you both.
Jan: Thank you very much.