Disclaimer: Dr. Park and other people mentioned do not belong to me, but to Roddenberry-Kirschner, among others.

Author's notes: This is set shortly after the events of the season 1 episode "Infection". I've chosen to use "Melissa" as Dr. Park's first name because I think it fits her slightly better.

Easy as Apple Pie
by Estirose
copyright 1999

Melissa Park stretched as she stumbled out of bed. She'd barely gotten any sleep, thanks to nightmares of people dying in the streets should that virus ever get loose again. But there was no more virus, other than maybe a strain or two kept for study, and her re-engineered one that wouldn't affect humans anyway. Taelons, yes, but her fellow humans, no.

But no matter how many simulations she ran on her virus, she always worried about making a mistake, the readouts somehow being wrong and the corrected virus now not affecting Taelons, but being double deadly to humans. Sometimes she did get nightmares about her work. The only thing that she could do was try not to get scared silly. She didn't scare herself silly very often, other than that Bloody Mary thing when she was twelve and gullible. But superstitions were one thing, not really anything to worry about. The things one was responsible for were another.

She'd taken an oath to help people, not harm them. Most of the doctors she worked with considered the Taelons as much people as she did. Jonathan considered them dangerous opponents, and practically everyone in the liberation agreed, even Boone. Her Taelon counterparts had no problems using humans as guinea pigs. The Taelons claimed that those that they experimented on were all volunteers. Volunteers like those in concentration camps, maybe. She wondered how Julianne Belman coped with working with them on a regular basis, instead of the irregular basis that she did.

Still, she thought as she changed into her clothes, she should make sure that Jonathan didn't have access to her virus. Invading aliens or not, she didn't like the thought of exterminating them wholesale and she wasn't too sure about how itchy Jonathan's trigger finger was. Sometimes you had to kill something to prevent further disease, but only if there was no other option. There had to be another option here.

Oh, to meet an alien who didn't have the exploitation of humankind in mind! Some being who was what the Taelons only pretended to be. It was no doubt wishful thinking. If there was such a species out there, they hadn't come to save humans from the Taelons. Maybe there was a species out there, but the reason that they hadn't come was because the Taelons had beat them.

Good thing she didn't have to deal with any Taelons today, unless they paid her a surprise visit. She had to restrain herself, keep herself a trusted human doctor, and she wasn't really in the mood for that at the moment. She wished she could make things the way they were again, eradicate all those partial CVIs and unmaim all those who the Taelons had hurt.

"Right," she muttered, knowing that she could do nothing of the sort. "As easy as apple pie."

She had become a doctor to heal, not harm. To fix, not break. To see people smiling in gratitude, not grimacing in pain. Maybe she should destroy that virus sample. No matter what, it might not be the right way to take care of things.

But it might just save humanity. She couldn't forget that. Sometimes good things came out of the worst of things. A silver lining. If it meant the difference between humanity's continued existence and the Taelons, she knew which one she'd pick. She knew too much to choose differently.

Still, it was not what she'd been trained to do. Not what she'd learned medicine for. Not at all. It wouldn't be an easy choice, but it was a choice she'd have to make. If one species must die, let it die. If both could live, if the Taelons could become what they only pretended to be, so much the better. So much the better for her.

Because she wanted to be able to sleep at night. To be able to look herself in the mirror. To not have to make that choice, ever.


Earth: Final Conflict fanfics