“We have to dream in order to survive.” – Dr. Beverly Crusher
Dr. Beverly C. Crusher, MD (Howard) was known for being the Chief Medical Officer aboard the USS Enterprise-D and later the Enterprise-E, both under the command of Captain Jean Luc Picard and as the head of Starfleet Medical.
Beverly C Howard was born on Earth’s Moon in the city of Copernicus City on October 13th, 2324. Her family’s origins on earth hail from England and Scotland, and of Duke of Norfolk. She was raised by her Grandmother, Felisa Howard, whom she called “Nana” and they traveled rather than staying put. They were present at the Arvada III colony when disaster struck. They assisted in the aftermath, and during this, Beverly was inspired to take up a career in medicine as she helped her Nana and learned how to use herbal remedies when the medical supplies had run out. They moved to the Caldos Colony, where Felisa was a healer until her death in 2370. Beverly Howard enjoyed a happy childhood with moments of rebellion which included dying her ginger hair brunette. She instantly regretted it, recalling years later that she “couldn’t change it back fast enough.” Her wit was lightning fast and she developed a smart-aleck mouth with little filter. This all led her into quite a bit of trouble. Especially on one date with a boy named Tom. She asked him, "Is that a beard or is your face dirty?" Afterward, she realized how badly her words had hurt him and resolved to be kinder and more compassionate of the feelings of others.
Academy and Starfleet
She attended Starfleet Academy, as well as the Medical Academy from 2342 to 2350, earning her Doctorate in Medicine. While at school she met Jack Crusher, who was introduced to her by Walker Keel. They slowly fell in love and were married in 2348 after he proposed via a book named “How to Advance Your Career Through Marriage”. Wesley, their son, was born later that year. After her graduation, she interned with Dr. Dalen Quaice on Delos IV till 2352. Jack Crusher went on to serve under Jean Luc-Picard with the couple becoming close friends with Jack’s Captain. Picard developed feelings for Beverly but would never admit it due to his loyalty to his best friend. These feelings would be admitted fully later when he and Beverly were telepathically linked in 2370. Jack Crusher died soon after a family trip to Balfour Lake in 2353 while serving on the USS Stargazer. Jack was on an away mission when the incident happened. The pain of delivering his best friend’s body back to Beverly and Wesley was almost unbearable for Picard. Jack’s death would continue to impact her life and her relationship with Picard.
She completed the bridge officer’s test in 2362.
Serving on the Enterprise
Dr. Crusher and her son, Wesley, joined the Enterprise-D at Farpoint Station in 2364. Captain Picard expressed reservations at having her serve, given their past. Dr. Crusher assured him that she would be able to serve without issue. They resumed their friendship and went on Holodeck excursions, including joining Picard in his Dixon Hill adventure series. During one session, a Jarada ship’s probe caused a malfunction that disengaged the safeties on the Holodeck. The Dixon Hill villain Redblock was able to shoot the ship’s historian Whalen. Picard, Data, and Dr. Crusher were able to escape the holodeck and save Whalen’s life in medbay.
Later in 2364, the Enterprise was assigned to investigate the missing SS Tsiolkovsky, a science vessel observing a dying red supergiant star. The ship is discovered with no life signs after a mysterious communication from a woman sounding seductive and talking about a “blow out”. When the away team investigated they found the walls and rooms littered with debris described as looking like a “wild party” had happened. They discovered what the woman had meant about a “blow out”. One of the crew had vented the ship into space, leaving those who were left, frozen. La Forge, the engineer, was infected when he touched one of the frozen crewmen. The infection was not stopped by decontamination in the transporter and traveled back to the Enterprise. Dr. Crusher suspected something was wrong with La Forge when he started behaving oddly and was sweating. She confined him to sickbay. La Forge slipped his confinement by leaving his combadge and escaped. La Forge hung out with Wesley, Dr. Crusher’s son, infecting him and then later went to the observation lounge. He was confronted there by Tasha Yar who called for security. She touched him as he asked for help, and the infection was passed to her. On the bridge, Riker and Data found information about a similar incident that happened on the original Enterprise. Dr. Crusher worked to find a cure as the crew fell into the same madness that killed the USS Tsiolkovsky's crew.
The original Enterprise's cure did not work. Dr. Crusher and Picard became infected as well and started to flirt with each other. Even Data was affected due to several of his systems being meant to mimic human ones. The star started to collapse and the Enterprise, due to the crew and Wesley’s interference in Engineering was directly in the path of an ejected fragment, unable to move. Data was brought to engineering by Riker, and even in an “intoxicated” state could repair the ship. However, there was not enough time. Dr. Crusher’s son, Wesley, intervened and gave them enough time to fix the ship. Dr. Crusher stumbled on the correct variation that cured the intoxication. As the ship was being fixed, the cure was passed on. The Enterprise was able to move out of the path of the expelled fragment, safe.
Another virus, picked up by Enterprise students on Quazulu VIII, was a deadly respiratory disease that spread on the Enterprise. Dr. Crusher had to treat the whole crew as this airborne disease passed quickly around the ship, infecting even Captain Picard. She was able to again find a cure and help the crew.
She couldn’t save everyone. When Tasha Yar was struck by the creature Armus as she attempted to save the crew in a downed shuttle, Dr. Crusher did all that she could to save Yar. She kept going, even though her aides had informed her of brain death. She was visibly angry as she informed Picard that “there is nothing I can do”.
When the android Lore was found abandoned on Omicron Theta, Dr. Crusher helped reassemble him.
Dr. Crusher was also the first to observe parasites that had an agenda to control people and the Federation and devised a way to separate them from their hosts.
After this year of discovery and fighting deadly viruses, Dr. Crusher accepted a position at Star Fleet Medical. However, she missed the ship and her son. She returned a year later to the Enterprise-D in 2366.
She treated a Romulan Scout that was found on Galorndon Core. She was not equipped with much information on Romulan biology at that time and thus was not able to treat the badly injured sole survivor fully. Despite all her efforts, he did not make it.
Dr. Crusher, breaking the Prime Directive, treated a pre-warp survivor of an accident on Mintaka III. The Mintakan woke in sickbay and observed how Picard gave orders. Given the advanced nature of the ship, the Mintakan began to worship Captain Picard. It took a reveal of Picard’s mortality for the Mintakans to stop their worship of Picard as a god.
While giving aid to the war-torn planet of Rutia IV, Dr. Crusher was taken hostage by a faction called Ansata. The group was led by Kyril Finn. Their use of folded-space transport caused massive internal body damage. Dr. Crusher was compassionate towards the charismatic Finn at first but saw through to his irrational madness when he kidnapped Picard and attempted to destroy the Enterprise. Finn was killed but still inspired a child to take his place as he tried to assassinate Picard and a Rutian security official. Crusher was able to defuse the situation and stop any further bloodshed.
In 2367, Dr. Crusher met with her old mentor, Dr. Quaice, as he retired. The Enterprise picked him up at Starbase 133. As they met and talked, he remarked at a future without friends and loved ones. While she was doing this, her son Wesley was in engineering experimenting with a new variation of warp bubbles. The bubble became unstable and without her knowledge had trapped her using her thoughts and feelings to define a pocket universe where people and places disappeared as if they had never existed. Dr. Crusher, stubborn and refusing to accept this as real, worked down the possibilities as her universe started to collapse in on itself. Thanks to the arrival of the Traveller, an interstellar being able to transverse planes of existence by thought, Wesley created a stable gateway for Dr. Crusher to escape through.
Dr. Crusher helped a spaceborne lifeform survive birth from its deceased mother who had accidentally been killed by the Enterprise, by doing a c-section.
Dr. Crusher used a quarantine field to protect Willie Potts after his accidental poisoning from a plant on Ongus II and was able to maintain levels when some of the power was needed to save the ship after it had been hijacked by Data’s “father” Dr. Soong.
She was the first non-Trill to transplant a symbiont and study their anatomy with Odan. Odan and her had shared romance before an attack killed his host body. To save his life, Dr. Crusher transplants the Trill into Riker. Riker is a temporary host, as he can’t support Odan for long, and the Trill is transplanted into a Trill host, a woman. The whirlwind of different sexes makes Dr. Crusher unable to further the romance between them.
Dr. Crusher, in response to non-corporeal criminals imprisoned on Mab-Bu VI taking over the bodies of Data, Troi, and Miles O'Brien, devised and designed a neutrino field that would expel and then trap the lifeforms.
In late 2367, the Borg, a foe they met thanks to Q, attacked the outermost colonies of the Federation. The Enterprise-D, being the flagship of the Federation went to investigate and confront them. The Borg responded by transporting aboard the Enterprise and taking Picard back to their Cube for assimilation to be a liaison between the Borg and Humans. The Enterprise was unable to locate Picard and the Cube was on a course for Sector 001, Earth. An away team that included Dr. Crusher beamd aboard. She was at Starfleet Medical when the Borg were first encountered. She asked how the Borg will respond to their presence and Data replied that they were ignored last time. Dr. Crusher started to inspect the Borg machinery as the team also looked for Picard. She noted that vandalizing the systems could help hinder the Borg’s efforts. They do so. Worf detects Picard’s combadge signal and they find his uniform and badge in a drawer but no Captain. Dr. Crusher’s sabotage had worked though, causing the Cube to drop out of warp. The Borg finally see the away team as a threat and advance on them. In the distance, Dr. Crusher can see Picard, transformed into a Borg. Unable to reach him, the away team returns to the Enterprise. The Borg hailed the Enterprise and revealed Picard, now "Locutus of Borg", speaking with the mind of the collective. The Enterprise’s new weapon did no damage, and the ship was left behind by the Borg as it was damaged from the attempted attack and was no longer considered a threat. The Federation made a stand at Wolf 359 with 40 starships. The Borg laid waste to them all and when the Enterprise arrived, the battlefield was a floating graveyard. The Enterprise caught up to the Borg and engaged the cube. Riker using new strategies that Picard would be unaware of, and using misdirection, rescued their Captain out of the Borg ship.
Dr. Crusher, Troi, O’Brien, and Data started to study Picard. Data worked at establishing a neural link. Data was able to, and using Locutus’ net connection he infiltrated the Borg consciousness and began to understand its logic and structure. Locutus realized what Data was trying to do and resisted. Data grabbed the Borg appendage they had added to Picard's arm and removed it. Locutus stared at his arm as his neural pathways lit up. O’Brien summarized that the Borg might be trying to sever their connection to Picard. Troi contradicts this, saying “It’s him, it’s Picard”. The Borg Cube then stopped their progress towards Earth. Dr. Crusher formulized that this connection was the Borg's “Achilles' heel”: their inter-dependency left them vulnerable. Picard was part of their collective consciousness, and disconnecting him from that would be like asking a human to sever an appendage, which would be impossible. Riker concluded that they must operate collectively, if one is ordered to do something, all will.
Picard fought through, as the Enterprise fought to give Data time to finish getting through to the collective. Data reported that all the critical pathways were protected. Picard uttered, “sleep”. Dr. Crusher takes that as a sign of his exhaustion, but Data understood, this as a course of action to take. Data inputs a command and the command does more than just make the Borg fall into inactivity, it eventually causes the ship to self-destruct due to a feedback loop caused by the command. Dr. Crusher then removed all of the Borg implants from Picard successfully. The damage to Picard’s mental state, however, was vast, with the complete awareness of his violation and how he was made into a tool of humanity’s near destruction.
In 2368, the Klingon Worf was paralyzed after an accident in the cargo bay. Dr. Crusher invited neuroscientist Dr. Toby Russell to the Enterprise to confer on how best to treat Mr. Worf. Dr. Crusher was pushing for traditional treatments while Dr. Russell was for an experimental genetronic replicator. She said the risks would be too great but against her wishes Russell suggested it to Worf. Worf was absolute that he would either live as a fully functional Klingon or die with dignity. It was Picard who finally reached her to respect Worf’s wishes. She permits the surgery despite being completely against Russell’s methods.
The Enterprise found a crashed Borg scout ship in the Argolis Cluster with one survivor, Third of Five who would later be known as Hugh. He was brought aboard for treatment despite the protests of Commander Riker, Lieutenant Worf, and several Enterprise crewmembers wanting to finish the drone off and leave him where they found him. The crew then devised a plan to send "Hugh" back with a computer virus to destroy the Borg. In the end, Picard met with Hugh and faced the damage and pain that the Borg had inflicted on him when he was assimilated. He recognized the humanity that had developed in the drone while being on board the Enterprise and interacting with it's crew as an individual. When Hugh returned to the Borg, the damage of individuality would be far worse than any virus.
In 2370, Dr. Crusher and Picard were taken captive on the planet Kesprytt and had psi-wave devices implanted on the base of their heads to prepare them for interrogation. These devices would cause discomfort if they were separated and allowed them to hear every thought, even dreams. Both their feelings were laid open to each other. Afterward, Picard expressed his desire to finally act on those feelings. Dr. Crusher, however, didn’t want to ruin their friendship.
Dr. Crusher remained on the Enterprise until after 2375 when she again took up her post as the head of Starfleet Medical.