Beam Me Home, Scotty!: 13, The Boy

We’re finally here: author-editor Shawn Coyne’s (The Story Grid)Ending Payoff“; Christopher Vogler’s (The Hero’s Journey) “Resurrection.”

As Jane discovers, however, resurrections don’t necessarily pay off in one fell swoop.

Especially on the brain’s USS Enterprise.

The triage area is chaotic with the sounds of soldiers and alarms. In a corner near the front races a much younger Jane toward a newly-arrived casualty.

Suddenly a voice cries out from the far corner.

“Oh, God! Isn’t this the kid Jane’s been talking to?”

The scene freezes. On the Mezzanine, Jane-Now grabs the guardrail.

In the Transporter Room area, Young Jane turns, the only one on the scene to move.  As she does, all the other soldiers and casualties fade away, leaving her standing across the room from a stretcher, on which lies the body of an eleven-year-old Iraqi boy, shirtless, shoeless, covered in dust, with a gaping gunshot wound in his abdomen.

In the Doc’s voice, the General speaks to Jane-Now from the Transporter Room.

“Breathe, Jane,” he says.  “See it all, feel it all in your body, for what it was, for what it is.”

As Jane-Now inhales, she hears humming. She turns to see still standing next to Major (MAJ) Chekhov her Grandmama, eyes closed, swaying slightly, humming what she always hummed when she held Jane as a crying baby, as a crying young woman: the old spiritual, “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

Meanwhile Young Jane in the Transporter Area edges her way toward the stretcher, finally reaching it, her eyes fixed on the dead Boy.

Now in his own voice, the General says to Jane-Now, “Let me go help.”

Jane nods, still gripping the guardrail, a tear forming in her eye.

The General walks over to stand behind Young Jane, tears streaming down her face.  After placing his right hand on her left shoulder, he whispers, “He was already gone, Jane. We both know that. There was nothing more anyone could have done.”

The General then looks to his side and nods.  Sergeant First Class (SFC) Chekhov Sr enters the scene, followed by the Emotions.

As they do, wisps of smoke appear, with specks of light, bits of sound mixed in. The smoke darts to and fro around the Boy as the Emotions surround him and start pulling some wisps in, pushing others away. SFC Chekhov Sr. pulls out a camera and begins filming the entire scene.

“Nothing more could have been done,” the General repeats to the Young Jane, still in his own voice.  “As the Doc is saying, just breathe, and see it for what it was.”

SFC Chekhov Sr lowers his camera, looks to the General, and nods.

Grandmama stops humming.

The General whispers to the Young Jane. “It’s done, Jane.”

He then turns to look up at Jane-Now. “It’s done.”

With that, he turns to look at the far side of the Mezzanine. Jane-Now does the same.

There, next to Chekhov and her Grandmama, lies the Boy on a bed, not alive, but dressed in clean white, lying on the cot.

“That’s where treatment can take us,” the General says to Jane-Now. “We’ll probably always feel some of War’s pain, at least to an extent. But in treatment, we can take those painful fragments of deep experiences, pull them together, and make a film—tell a story—that can finally allow us to feel, from Bridge to Engine Room, that it is indeed done.  No more reliving. Just

At that, on the Mezzanine, Kirk walks up to Jane-Now.

“So,” he says, “I come to ask you again, Jane. Are we done?”

Wiping a tear from her cheek, she turns to him and says, “I think we both know the answer to that question.”

Kirk nods. “You know what you have to do, then.”

A moment’s pause, and then Jane-Now snaps her fingers. Once again a vortex of smoke forms over the Transporter Room, enveloping Young Jane, until it explodes open.

There again, in the middle of the Transporter Room, stands Young Jane, in the full gear she wore as she walked through the local Iraqi town, reaching out to local women and children.

Next to her is her interpreter.

And in an instant, across from her is a distraught Iraqi woman.

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