USS Vesta

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Medical Anomalies

Posted on Wed Dec 30th, 2020 @ 12:28pm by Commander Martin Sorenson

Mission: When the Bough Bounces
Location: CMO's office, Medbay
Timeline: MD04 1900
945 words - 1.9 OF Standard Post Measure

Dr. Sorenson sat at his desk, elbows propped on its surface with face held between his hands as he stared down at the PaDD containing readings that ...made no sense. Something very strange was going on. In fact, as he thought about it, it had been going on for a day or two at least.

The first incident had been among a small slew of crew coming in with various injuries and complaints - not especially unusual at the end of leave, or during though he generally only saw the reports from the station medbay since crew didn't tend to return to Vesta for treatment (particularly when the injury involved a fight and/or drunken lapses in judgment). The day after departure however the ship's medbay was the only option, so hangovers, strained and pulled muscles, the occasional embarrassing black eye - all of them began trickling in. The load had seemed a little heavier than usual but nothing had stood out, except Ensign Willows. Her reason for coming in was normal enough: gastrointestinal upset apparently caused by trying to sample all of the various treats available on the Promenade before returning to the ship. What wasn't normal was that the medscan showed an appendix. No one in Starfleet had an appendix, and according to her records hers had been prophylactically removed at the Academy. Yet there it was. Odd, but at the time the doctor had chalked it up to one of the rare cases when a appendix grew back, so he'd treated her for the immediate problem and scheduled a follow up to have it re-removed.

The next day had seen more of the same. Again, a bit heavier case load than usual, but not entirely unexpected. Most people settled back into routine after leave, but some always had trouble winding down. That typically resulted in collisions in the corridors, sport injuries from pushing things bit too hard, and a few victims of 'finishing the last of the booze smuggled onboard' idiocy. One broken arm, but mostly sprains, cuts and contusions, so Martin hadn't been particularly worried. He had been somewhat tired though by the end of the end of shift when a contingent of new crew showed up for their check in medical exams. Everything completely normal ...except for one with a knee injury that was flagged in his record for follow up treatment. Of course, Evans claimed it was feeling 100% better, but Martin heard those disclaimers all the time and like a lot of new (and not so new) crew, this one had put off his exam until the very last possible minute, so he scanned it anyway. And then scanned again - no knee injury. Then he performed a more detailed scan, and repeated it with a different scanner. Evans was 28 years old, but both detailed tissue scans indicated two good knees in a man closer to 25. That was odd, and wrong, but not severely so - only a couple years outside accepted tolerance. It might simply be a calibration issue (or the consequence of a hack from a young prankster and/or would be exam avoider) so Martin rescheduled Evans and ordered a full diagnostic run over night.

By midway through this morning he'd called Ops to double check the diagnostic, because he simply couldn't believe there wasn't so much as a small variance calibration. More people were coming in - often because of stunts he might expect from Jack, but not adult members of the crew - and scans showed three more miraculously regenerated appendices. Still, he imagined it was equipment error, which was a real issue, and one he was about to report to Yoshi in case it might be evidence of something potentially malicious, until M'rix came in. She'd lost part of an ear several years ago, but there it was - paired with the other as if it had never been sheared off by a bat'leth. Then Gurlos had come in with a pustules all over his face, which the medical tricorder reported to be a bad case of Tellarian acne - something he should have outgrown a decade ago. Martin had been about to examine him more closely when Dr. Lieri was rushed in, bleeding from her cervix - an alarming symptom, especially in hybrid woman well past menopause. Or would be, if she was still past menopause, which the woman on the biobed was not. Indeed, she was missing the laugh lines he'd come to expect when he visited her lab and her muscle tone was that of a much younger woman - one who the medscanner showed to be having a normal menstrual cycle. DNA verified she was Lieri, but no longer trusting his instruments, Martin had asked a number of questions, from the personal to the trivial, until he was satisfied that it was indeed her.

After that. he began to believe that the issue was not with the equipment and had run full scans of every patient presenting anomalous results. In every case the scan indicated the patient was younger, in some cases over a decade younger, than they actually were. Then, as a control, he'd begun to scan everyone. A number of them were completely normal, and exactly the age their records said they should be, but others...

Martin sat back and ran his hands over his face. After the time skip his own official age never matched his readings, but the differential was fixed and he'd compensated for it. He'd run the scan three times now and according to those readings he was 26 years old. Whatever was happening, it was happening to him too.


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