USS Vesta

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Staff Infection

Posted on Thu Feb 25th, 2021 @ 4:34pm by Commander Martin Sorenson & Isabella Cerin

Mission: When the Bough Bounces
Location: Vesta Medbay
Timeline: MD05
1271 words - 2.5 OF Standard Post Measure

If nothing else maybe I can get something for the headache while I'm at it, Izzy thought as she peeled around the corridor towards the medbay, doors swooshing open. The entire day so far had been fit to induce it; starting with mostly trying to clean up the disarray from a variety of messages foreign and domestic alike that she'd discovered Kairishana had replied to with...less than diplomatic...wording or decisions. At some point in the middle of all that, a medtech had poked their head into the offices with descriptions of a truly bizarre sounding contagion aboard and orders to scan the senior staff for it, after which he'd left her with a suggestion to take Kairishana off duty, and even more of a headache. When the message to come down to the medbay had come, she'd quite honestly set it aside until she'd finished cleaning up the last of the mess with the Gorn, then, now lacking staff, had simply closed up the diplomatic offices for the moment and finally made her way down as ordered.

Between trying to get on top of who was or wasn't infected, triple check contact traces that so far very frustratingly yielded no pattern whatsoever, and deal with the myriad of injuries from suddenly youthful crew, Martin had abandoned mere caffeine to himself going. The upside was that there was too much caffeine + guarana + B complex + SUGAR in his system for a headache. The downside was that whenever the crash came, it was going to be Hard. On the other hand, at the rate he seemed to be de-aging, teenage energy make up for it by the time he gave in. At the moment though, he was nearly levitating as he moved from from one area of medbay to another and during one such transit caught sight of Izzy coming through the doors. "Over here," he called, waving her to a biobed where he could run a detailed scan. "Let me check you over."

Izzy sat down on the indicated bed, considering; eying Martin and then the beverage tumbler in her hand. "...I was going to offer this to you; but I may be reconsidering."

"Yeah, that wouldn't make a dent," Martin laughed, sounding somewhere between manic and ragged. He pulled a palmful of roundish brown candy out his pocket. "Chocolate covered espresso beans," he explained and pooped them in his mouth, barely chewing before he swallowed as he set up the biobed for the scan. "I've been practically living on them for the last couple hours - not excessively healthy, I know, but not far from how I kept going through residency at roughly this age so ...been there, survived." He flashed a brief smile before forcing his eyes to focus on the readings. "Hey, good news! You aren't affected!" It was practically a cheer - she was the first one out of the last twelve people he'd scanned.

"By the virus." After a moment of relief at the news, she moved to pinch the bridge of her nose, then thought better of it in case whatever this was could spread on surfaces. "But I just spent a few hours cleaning up after adolescent Andorian replies to the Gorn. And to headquarters. I'm reasonably certain I've kept the level of issue below "interquadrant incident", but I'm gonna need whatever you've got for a migraine."

"We haven't isolated the cause yet, so it's too early to say 'virus'. There could be any number of other factors: unknown radiation, morphogenic fields, toxins, even prions. Did you know there's a case in Starfleet records of de-aging due to parasitic infection? Though we've run enough scans to rule that one out. And of course a transporter accident like happened on the Enterprise is out of the question..." Martin managed to tap the brake on his train of thought long to register her complaint about a headache and applied hypo with an apologetic smile. "Sorry. This should help."

"Parasites." Izzy's already wrinkled nose wrinkled further for a moment. "There's a word I thought I wouldn't hear once I left Ferenginar. Pretty common issue there. Naturally every other person you meet is happy to sell you a solution. "Thanks." She paused for a moment. "As someone who's over caffeinated myself at have someone checking your work, right? Someone perhaps less..." She waved her free hand absently at the coffee tumbler.

"Don't worry I'm not trying to do it all by myself - I'm a doctor, but not quite that arrogant. We have checks in place even when we aren't caffeinated. Actually, especially then," Martin chuckled. "This just came out nowhere and I've been trying to get a handle on it for the last 36..." he glanced at a clock, "huh,roughly 40 hours, so staying upright takes some extra input, eh? But it's okay. Been there, done it before, and when I was," he ran a tricorder over himself, checked the readings, "even a little older than I currently am now."

"Kairishana is probably about the age I was when I was brought on during the war. But as you probably know, maturity level at a given age....varies...among species. I assume if you have no idea what this is, there's also no good advice on how to avoid getting it, yet..."

Martin shook his head. "Sorry. All I say so far is that it doesn't appear to be airborne and initial contact tracing hasn't shown any significant correlation on interpersonal contact." He pulled at the back of his neck - just thinking about all the variables they didn't have data on and couldn't account for yet was making him tense into knots. "Of course, we only have a couple days worth of preliminary data and no idea about incubation periods, whether or why some people with clear exposure - like you, for instance - don't have it, or even when it started." He popped another chocolate espresso bean into his mouth because it was more productive than beating his head on a wall.

Izzy didn't bother asking any of the obvious questions, assuming that even currently resembling a chaotic unhinged electron, he must have already eliminated obvious answers or correlations like species, gender, homeworld, or age. "Great." Her tone indicated that it was in fact anything but. "So I assume you'll want a second reading then at some point since you aren't sure about the incubation period after exposure to be sure about things."

"Yes." He nodded - more a bobble than his normal simple nod. "Twelve hours if you can manage it, though if you notice yourself feeling suddenly more youthful come right in. Another twist in the mystery is that it moves faster in some people than others. Generally that's a little predictable based on species, gender, initial age, but - and I know you are probably sick of hearing of this - given your unique physiology I honestly can't even begin to guess how it will affect you. If it does at all." He offered a quick hopeful smile. "Hybrids do tend to be more likely to be immune things."

Izzy grinned with more than a touch of an edge to it. "But you've already found at least one, of some kind, who wasn't. Or you'd be much more excited about that angle." She nodded, in a less caffeinated way than Martin had. "Alright. I'll check back then, assuming the Gorn haven't demanded to eat me by then as compensation to go with the apology."


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