In which Galatea comes out of her cage and is doing just fine.
Julian wants to go out drinking with Miles, but MIles is busy with Keiko things. Kira and Odo are going to Vic’s and he wants to tag along, but it’s more of a date thing. Seems he’s in a bit of a slump, activity-wise, but as soon as he turns off the lights for the night (read, 3AM) Nog calls him to the infirmary to take care of Admiral Patrick. We do not know who that is, nor who his staff are. Well, at least until the doors open. Then they turn out to be old friends of Bashir’s.
Patrick has clearly been coached to say “That’s a stupid question” in order to deflect any suspicion. This whole escapade was organized to bring Serena, the mute one, to the station because Bashir had a hunch, whim, that he could do a surgery to help her. Of course, he was nowhere near ready. But why would that be an obstacle? Julian will smooth it over somehow. And he’ll try to cure her catalepsy.
Like last time, Sisko’s realy not happy with the way they flout the rules of the society they’re not allowed to participate in. Regardless of charges brought, however, there’s no other legal barriers to Bashir carrying out the procedure – her guardian has given consent. And Bashir also gets him to allow the other special patients to stay on-board long enough to help Serena make the adjustment if her surgery is successful. So while Jack sulks about not being allowed to help and Lauren crushes on Nog, Julian explains that Serena’s senses can’t keep up with her brain and he’ll have to synthesize new synapses on those pathways on equipment that just can’t keep up. He’s explaining it to Miles, because Miles needs to help fix it up and overcome quantum fluctuations at the scales required. Sadly, Miles is Irish, not Scottish, and cannae break the laws of physics.
Julians mutants, however, can bend them sufficiently, and thus the surgical montage with lasers begins. When it’s done, Serena still seems pretty catatonic, and the other three mutants get their spot in the montage as anxious waiters. After five days of waiting, it seems like the treatment has failed, and Julian has started blaming himself. Ezri points out the obvious behavioral stupidity, and it may be coincidence, but it’s gotten Julian to notice that Serena is now standing on the Promenade, staring at everything, and talking. Slowly, but certainly.
In follow-up checkups, Julain notices some oddities, but Serena assures them that it’s probably just a reaction to the surgery. Soon she’s well enough to go see the other mutants. They’re all very happy to see him, until Jack comments on a minor speech pathology and they find out she’s tone-deaf, at least at first. They all sing for a bit once she gets the hang of it. Obviously, she’s also a quick study. Aaaaand Julian’s in love with a patient. Again.
Miles, however is pissed that Julian forgot their playdate. He understands, though. When Bashir goes home, Serena is there in his room. She guessed his access code because she can’t and doesn’t want to sleep. Fear of turning back into what she used to be. He’s got a pretty good bedside manner, and she falls right asleep. On him.
When he wakes up, she’s correcting some of his groundbreaking work when the Infirmary calls him back to work. Serena’s headed back to the cargo bay to hang out with Jack, but makes sure Julian has his breakfast first.
Jack’s current obsession is the inevitable collapse of the universe in a few trillion years, and terribly upset with Laurel for wasting time pining away after Nog. The first approach is to annihalate matter by changing the cosmological constant, which Serena assures us you can’t do. Wrongly, as it turns out. Now that she’s merely sane and very intelligent, she doesn’t really belong with the rest of them. After a few hours of that, she’s slipped back into some old patterns, mostly to accomodate the others. Bashir invites her instead to hang out with his friends.
Lauren gets her all dressed up and they head out to Quark’s where Ezri, Miles, Nerys and Odo are waiting. It seems like a good night, and afterwards, she gets very philosophical and perceptive about all of them. And about how Jack’s defense mechanisms are revealed to be what they are. With the success of the treatment, Serena doesn’t have to go back. She can get by in the real world, and at this time Julian reveals his true feelings. Not that they were particularly well-hidden before.
Bashir breaks the news to the others, who don’t take it well, with their various mixes of angry mania and heartbreak. He goes to distract her with some Dabo, which she can easily predict. However, soon after Quark shows up to suggest they stop winning so hard, she seems to have some sort of episode. The crowd, probably. The noise. Julian offers to take her to Risa soon instead.
Miles is concerned that his friend is falling a little fast and hard, and trying to pull the reins. Serena is just too perfect for Julian, however. To his credit, Julian has asked another doctor to take over her care. However, when she doesn’t show up for their dinner, he goes to find her and override her door locks once she doesn’t answer. She’s sitting in a chair, staring at the stars, catatonic.
Under examination, the neural pathways he created are healthy, but not being used any more. There is a sense of time passing as she fails to snap back. He has to go to the cadre for help, and they eventually agree. They figure something out fairly soon, but it’s evident that it’s a bit controversial. They set out to find Bashir that Serena’s fine, she just doesn’t want to talk. See, the problem is that he loves her, but she doesn’t know if she returns it. She wants to repay the debt she owes him, but that’d be super creepy for him to play on, and he’s grown quite a lot in seven years. Instead, she gets to go off to join a research center, far away from him while she learns how to human. The parting is clean and heart-wrenching for at least one of them.