"Two Steps Back." By. Lt. SG. Sara Kaelyre The long thin silver point of the hypodermic needle pushed past the outer wall of the cell like a sewing needle though a balloon. It inched slowly though the layers of the cell until it reached cytoplasm where it stopped and dipped into the mass of proteins. Slowly and steadily the material began to enter the long passage way that ended in a small sample vile. Then after the cell was emptied of it’s prized material the cold medical intruder began to slip back though the membranes. The comm beeped and Jenny’s voice suddenly busted into the stillness of Sara’ s lab causing Sara to jump. The hand in which she held the extracting needle jerked and the point of the needle jumped forward piecing the nucleus and damaging the cell and the proteins she had just extracted. She looked at the magnified picture of the cell and needle tip on the plasma screen in front of her and watched as her last fifteen minutes of work went down the toilet. She cursed colorfully in Russian as she slammed her open hand down on her work table causing the petri dish to jump. That had been her last Vulcan test cell and it would take her forty-eight hours to harvest more. Jenny repeated the page and Sara slammed her comm badge harshly. "Jenny I’ve been off shift for over three hours, and I recall having asked to be left alone while I was working. So, there better be one of two reasons your interrupting me. One, we’ve been attacked and sick bay is so full of wounded that you had no choice but to call every doctor on this ship to duty. Or, two, my wife is standing in my office with a) fire and brimstone pouring out her ears or b) she ’s wearing only plastic wrap. So which is it?" There was a brief moment of silence on the other end before Jenny finally replied. "Neither. You have a priory one call coming in from Star Fleet Medical." Sara groaned. "Put it though." Sara turned away from her work area and rolled her chair over to the small desk area she’d set up. She cleared away some PADDs with her hand written notes on them and then pulled her computer screen closer. The screen flickered from black to the SFM seal to the image of a dark haired woman with lavender eyes and the tell tale markings of a Trill. "It took you long enough to get back to me, Efra." Efra Leor had been Sara’s fist and third year roommate at the academy and one of her few friends in medical school. Efra Leor was a joined Trill and simply fascinated Sara when they’d first met. ‘My Aunt dated a Trill once but Odan looked different then you. He/She didn’t have spots.’ Had been the first thing Sara had said to her new roommate after they’d introduced themselves. "Nice to see you too Sara." Efra said with a curious look in her eyes. "You look like shit, Red. Is everything ok out there on that little ship of yours?" Efra looked closer at Sara and then asked quietly. "Better yet everything ok with you and the little woman. You look tired but not in that good I’m still a newlywed way." Sara groaned again but then sighed as she relaxed a little. "Cy and I are wonderful, Efra, I’m just over worked at the moment." Efra nodded. "Ah yes those Crusher genes of yours. Little Miss CMO at twenty-four and the highest ranking officer from our medical class. Wouldn‘t want you to slow down and enjoy life now would we? What would Auntie Bev say." "Ya know what Efra.." Sara started as she stared harshly at the screen. Efra laughed. "Ya ya I know F off Efra. So anyway Miss Medical I have that info you wanted if you care to hear." "Tell me again why we’re friends?" Sara groaned. "Yes I would like to hear since I don’t really have the time to play around, Efra." Efra reached over and picked up a PADD and then started sending Sara the information download. "Cause you secretly had the hots for me in the academy but never had the nerve to wise up. I really must ask that woman of yours how she cracked your shell." Efra watched as the bright red blush under Sara’s eyes appeared like she knew it would and then she went on. "Ok lets start with the research you asked for. Doctor Phillips’ how to guide on restructuring humanoid cells for lasting and long term outcomes." Efra looked over the data she was sending Sara and shook her head before looking at her friend again. "I am not reading this to you, Red. I’ll fall asleep." Sara nearly laughed. "That’s fine, Efra, I can read it myself. Now what about that experimentation number I sent you." Sara watched as Efra looked though the PADD she held. She noticed the gleam that Efra often got when she’d been presented with a hard find. "Ah here we go. Case study #7734B. It’s classified, Sara, I couldn’t get much only that the doctor you want to contact is Toby Russell." For some reason that name sent off bells in Sara’s head but she couldn’t explain why. Sara sat back in her chair and looked just off center of the screen as she tried to figure out why the name Toby Russell bothered her. Then it hit her. "Wait, isn’t she the one who has no problem what so ever with testing her latest and so called greatest medical discovery on living people?" "Yeap, that would be her. "Toby "No Ethics" Russell. In fact you’ll never guess who had a first hand run in with her." Efra said with a smug smile. Efra loved knowing stuff other people didn’t, but somehow Sara doubted the run is she was talking about was with Josh since she didn’t know who Sara needed the information for. "Your Aunt." Efra finally said. Sara rolled her eyes and laughed. "Figures and knowing my Aunt it wasn’t a pretty run in." Efra shook her head. "She filed a complaint with SFM which of course was filed under ‘opps we lost the paper work.’ Russell brings in the grant money like a topless Orion girl at a casino brings in the drunk men." "So how can I get in touch with this Doctor Russell?" Sara asked as she pressed the tips of her index finger and thumb to the corners of her eyes. "I forwarded you request to her on the USS Nobel. I made sure she knew it was urgent and she needed to reach you before we lost communications with your ship. So hopefully you’ll hear from her soon, if not she’s testing her new what ever on the Nobel." Why was nothing ever easy? Finding out about the drugs tested on Josh. Finding a way to treat his reaction to them. Her finding a way to give her and Cy more years together with out Cy having to be embarrassed by her. It was all proving harder then Sara had wished it would be. "Thanks Efra." Efra smiled. "No problem, Red. If you need more you know where to send those request forms." Sara nodded and then promised to call Efra when they got back from their newest assignment for a long social conversation. Once the channel was closed Sara leaned back in her chair and sighed. She was tired but she needed to set up the instruments she’d need to replace the Vulcan cell Jenny’s call had made her ruin. Sara pulled herself up from the chair and walked over to the replicator, but she was tired of replicated coffee. "Maybe I’ll get Cy and we’ll go have a drink in the lounge." She thought as she left the lab. She walked into her office and threw her lab coat onto her desk then reached for her comm badge. Cy’s yeoman answered and Sara knew she wasn’t going to get that drink.