USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Bearer of Strange News

Posted on Mon Jan 4th, 2021 @ 1:09pm by Commander Martin Sorenson & Commodore Yoshi Minawara

Mission: When the Bough Bounces
Location: Ready Room
Timeline: MD04 2100
1655 words - 3.3 OF Standard Post Measure

Martin arrived at Yoshi's door feeling uncharacteristically unsettled. He considered again if it might be better to do this in medbay, but he knew how Yoshi felt about coming to medbay. Besides, while some of his unease was having no solid answers to the inevitable questions, there was also was a more particular concern: so far none of effects had had a serious impact on anyone's health but he had no idea how de-aging would affect someone with Yoshi's extensive prosthetics. Despite spending additional hours doing everything he could to assure that whatever was affecting him and others was not contagious, at least by any conventional means, he couldn't help worry that even with a quarantine field on, he might somehow be putting a friend at risk. Of course, based on the data he'd gathered today plus Teral's observations about recent variations in behavior and social dynamics, they might be well into community spread if it was transmissible. But either way, medbay would be a hot spot.

Straightening a bit, he pressed the door signal.

Sitting at his desk, the Commodore was leaned back in the chair staring at a holographic schematic of the newly proposed Seeker-class, as well as the Curiosity and Inquiry classes that were expected to be rolling off the line pretty quick here. His eyes scanned over small details, noting that both Curiosity and Inquiry were designed with secondary use of the Quantum Slipstream Drive. Made sense, seeing as they were intended to replace the aging Excelsior ships and most of the Miranda class vessels finally. It was going to be sad to see the old Miranda's phased out. His eyes were drawn to the door, and with a wave of his hand the various schematics disappeared, and the man straightened himself up before clearing his throat. "Come," he called out, picking up his glass of water and taking a sip.

As the doors parted and Yoshi laid eyes on Martin he offered a polite smile. "Martin I wasn't expecting you today, I didn't miss a check up did I?"

"No, sir, though I am going to recommend you have a full work up." Martin paused. The situation was no laughing matter but he had intended had not intended the reply to come sound so serious. Had Kyle been right about how hopelessly earnest he'd been as a young man? "That is, there's a medical issue affecting some of the crew and we haven't determined how extensive it is. I know this is going to sound a little unbelievable, but the data is all there." He placed a PaDD on the desk. "Something is causing people to ...become younger versions of themselves."

Pausing, the man reached forward to pick up the PaDD, and took a quick look at the notes. He nodded slowly, scanning over the document as he took in medical scans and information surrounding the data as he pondered the implications. A frown settled on his face, and he leaned back in his chair, indicating the chairs across from him. "Okay," he said in a tone that indicated anything but. "Take me through this, how long do we have, what are the noticible side effects, do we know why?" All questions that likely ended with a 'I don't know', but were ones Yoshi had to ask as he let his own thoughts roll around. It also gave Martin a chance to push forward. "And how many?" he added.

Martin took the offered seat to give himself and extra beat before responding, not that it made much difference in what he could say. "I wish I had good answers to any of that. It doesn't appear to be contagious, or at least no patient tracing model has shown a standard transmission pattern, but I only have the cases that I've seen in medbay, so I don't have a sense of how widespread it actually is. Symptoms vary by the degree of de-aging, which itself seems to vary considerably. It seems to be occurring at different rates in different people, which is maybe the one thing that makes sense: different species age at different rates and within a species individuals do too based on genetics, metabolism, etc. I think with this initial age may also play a role, but I can't be sure." He expelled a frustrated sigh. "I don't know exactly when it started or how; if there was a single mass exposure event or if it's been progressively spreading. It doesn't correspond to any of handful of de-aging incidents in Starfleet records. In short, I can't say how long we have. The only good news is that memory doesn't appear to be affected. Even people who have de-aged a decade recall details from the last year."

Nodding along, Yoshi watched the man's face, but at the mention of a decade, he paused, and looked down at his left arm. "Hence the work up," he said, more to himself than the man across the table. It was a reasonable concern, considering they didn't know why it was happening, and then what the possible effects on someone with so much rework done to himself would be. Would he regrow a lost limb? Pushing the thought from his mind, the CO stiffened. "Well, then let's focus on the other details we can control. We need to see how many people are affected, and you and your team scanning everyone by hand will take too long. Work with Trenton, Asahi and Nolan to see about isolating it. Use security teams to scan in necessary, ship's sensors if you can. If we have people that are healthy, let's try and isolate them." The thought of a bunch of children running about the Vesta was concerning enough, but to keep the ship running.... "We're headed for Earth, we can switch the helm over to auto pilot, and begin putting out a quarantine warning," he added, "ensure no one come aboard until we know what happened." He stopped. He had been about to suggest talking to Doctor Bathory, but the thought froze in his brain. This was the man's field of expertise, and the Commodore had been around long enough to not believe in coincidence.

"Talk to Bathory," he said, pushing the thought back. Maybe there was something there, but jumping the gun wasn't going to get him anywhere.

"I'll talk to Trenton about getting security scanned and then equipped to scan others, and consult Asahi and Nolan. Nolan might even find this scientifically interesting despite it being a bioscience issue," the doctor remarked wryly. Of course that would require getting one or both to stop avoiding him for anything medical, but perhaps he could invoke Commodore's orders to get them to medbay. "As to Dr. Bathory, the same thought occurred to me. Unfortunately I can't locate him. I had someone check when he wasn't answering comms and his badge was in his lab, but he wasn't."

This caused the frown to deepen, increasing Minawara's concern. If the doctor was running around untrackable, that was going to make things even harder. Or, perhaps this disease came along with him, he could be patient zero. "Enlist the marines to help, and I am sure they would like the experience. Their biotrackers are more fine tuned than our equipment for this role. Treat it as a search and rescue for now," he said gesturing around the room in his own thought. There was an immediate concern around the children of the ship, or to whether there was a stopping point for the affliction. "I'm authorizing the use of overtime for your teams. I don't care what you need, get it under control and fast. If you can't isolate this by the end of tomorrow we'll put the ship to blue alert."

"Understood," Martin replied, getting up. As though reading Yoshi's concern he added, "I've already ordered two of the nurses who showed no signs of ...'infection' for lack of a better word... to perform a 'health survey' of children on the ship. Younger adults seem to de-age more slowly, but we don't know how that translates to children. Any affected will need to be monitored. I may ultimately need to place some in cryogenic suspension." He paused a moment before leaving. "There's one more thing you should know. My quarantine field is active so you should be in no danger from me, but I have it. At last reading, I'm 6.3 years younger than my chronological age."

It took a moment for Yoshi to consider this. Six years in what could be assumed to be 4 days. That wasn't a lot of time, but if that was an expected rate, it was hard to tell how it could affect other races on the ship, especially the quicker aging races such as the Kainen's aboard. "Do whatever you need Martin," he finally said. "Focus on crew that could be the most negatively effected and crew in critical infrastructure. If it means you sit someone down in Engineering and scan everyone who goes through, do it. I'll come down in the morning and talk to you, and have you do a once over on me, or whoever is available." He knew his own concerns would be mirrored in the Doctor. "I am going to begin putting the systems into place to ensure critical function of the ship. Use as many EMHs as you need. I'm going to put the ECH into stand by, not that I ever expected to use the bloody thing." A sigh escaped his lips, and he scratched at the beard that seemed coarser than he remembered. "Get to work Doctor, you're going to be busy," he said in the way of a dismissal, before pulling up a display containing the control system for the emergency hologram network.

"Aye, sir." Martin nodded. 'Busy' did not begin to describe what he imagined the next day, or several days, would be.


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