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Posted on Fri May 19th, 2023 @ 3:53pm by Ensign Jyl-eel Tor & Petty Officer 1st Class Amber Hartree & Ensign Noah Balsam & Lieutenant Xex Wang & Lieutenant JG Gwenwyn Marwol & Andrew Munro & Lieutenant Arianna Durand & Lieutenant JG Kestrel & Ensign Brian Davies

Mission: On the Road Again
Location: Isolation Ward 1: Sickbay; Deck Two
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 1600

[Sickbay; Isolation Ward]
[Deck 2]
[1600 Hours; After the Waverider's Return]

The old days of the periwinkle blue bleed out of light, the pungent medicinal balm that had to be smeared by hand, had given way to a fuchsia glow. It was akin to the sonic showers found in virtually every living space on the Sojourner. Isolation wards- ad hoc Decons- were a seldom needed commodity on a starship thanks to a Mark IX transporter buffer. But when one couldn't use a transporter, sometimes Decon was the way to go.

Certainly after Shaddam IVa, that seldom-used commodity had seen some serious use. Five by five, every member of the away mission had spent their time in the 3.7m x 3.7m Decon box, bathed in its fuchsia glow while inhaling a breathing treatment to ensure every last piece of the dust-borne pathogens were free from their system. Although these otherwise healthy crewmembers hadn't seen any issues from the foreign bacteria, the Sojourner's CMO was unwilling to take any chances at this juncture-- and in any case, it was the perfect excuse to clear the last of that bedamned dust out of everyone's lungs.

The treatment hadn't been especially difficult to develop once Xex and Chief Basheer had come to a grudging arrangement about computing power and prioritization during the, as Xex had phrased it in a moment of pique, criminally poorly timed update; the computer had sequenced the bacteria-- an archaeobacterium, as it turned out-- with relative ease and synthesized a variety of treatments, both respiratory and intravenous. The only challenge had been to adapting it to some of the more unusual crew physiologies on board but between the two of them, Xex and Marwol had led the waiting onboard medical team to coming up with a reasonable suite of treatments, and the majority of the away team hadn't been kept in quarantine for more than a couple hours.

Now, though, they were down to those crewmembers who had been unfortunate enough to have their insides exposed to the moon's atmosphere-- and thus the swirling dust, debris, and microscopic beasties that abounded-- and Xex was prepared for a more time-intensive process with these five.

Concerned eyes looked on Kestrel on the biobed with the LMH hovering over her. Kestrel was bathed in the strongest violet pink light from above.

The Argelians's foot had been stabilized despite the Waverider's bumpy ride back to the Sojo, a testament to Marwol, Rathhi, and Parsons' dedication, but her scratched face and arms were showing a glowing bright pink on Xex's screen, rife with the archaeobacteria. He shifted his gaze to Balsam, who'd had his torn bits rudimentarily sutured but still had an awkward wrapped sling to contend with, which had been their solution to his collarbone until they could get the bacterial infection dealt with. He also glowed particularly bright from his wounds. The other three, Munro, Tor, and Davies, did not put on such an obvious display, but their scans showed a burgeoning colony of the little bacterial buggers, centered on what had turned out to be insect bites. All of them were attached to the particular breathing treatment scaled for their physiology.

Activating the comm, Xex said to the LMH, β€œWe're only showing twenty-three percent deconned. I hope you didn't have anywhere else to be.” The Sojourner's CMO looked haggard, his cheeks sunken, dark circles under his eyes, like bruises on his silvery flesh. Despite the look, his voice remained strong and steady, and the humor was unforced in his tone, his gray eyes twinkling. β€œAnd I'm still interested in your take on Kestrel's foot, mind. Cadet Balsam's collarbone should be fairly straightforward-- once we can get to it. Ensign Davies! Stop touching that bite, please. Let the Decon do its work. If you scratch it, you're only going to increase the time you're in there.”

Davies, looking chagrined, stopped scratching at the bite. He hadn't realized he'd been doing it and appreciated the catch by Xex, though he looked a bit embarrassed to be called out. "Right," the entomologist said to the Doc with a nod, eyes moving to trace the rather large, raised bump that was the bug bite in question. The surface of the bite glowed brightly with the fuchsia light.

From his place next to the Argelian tactical officer, the LMH looked up in the general direction of the voice projected into the room as if he might actually see the CMO in order to respond to him--an odd quirk that he had learned from reviewing files on humanoid behaviors. He'd determined it made him more relatable and thusly adopted it.

"As you know, doctor, I rarely leave Sickbay," he quipped back as if the two were having a chat over a picnic lunch. "You could, easily, surmise that I have no place pressing to be." The tiniest millisecond of a moment later the hologram's lip quirked slightly upward on each end. Though he was, as he had heard some colleagues saying, partaking in the banter, he was also running his own evaluation of Lieutenant Kestrel.

The same brilliant colored illumination that Xex was seeing overlaid the Argelian in the LMH's vision. He turned his attention to the mangled appendage at the end of her leg. Like many humanoid species the wound showed signs of swelling--the body's natural attempt to hold everything together. Much of the natural reactions were held at bay by a stabilizing hypo that the science chief had administered on the spot. A further sedative had been added to the mix now that the woman was onboard the ship -- necessary to effect the reconstruction and to minimize any risk of harming the foot further.

"It would be ideal if we could reconstruct the foot," the LMH commented, "but to do so I'd recommend we consult a map of the Lieutenant's musculature and bone structure prior to the injury. If that is unavailable then the one on file for Argelian females should be sufficient. We can then identify where/if any fragments have been so severely destroyed that they cannot be included in reconstruction and either regenerate or replicate depending on the need." The LMH stopped his monologue for a moment as if thinking, though he clearly did not need the additional time to do so. "It will be a long procedure, doctor. I might suggest placing the Lieutenant in stasis until you have rested or having myself complete the procedure. It will go faster and easier that way."

From the control console station, Amber Hartree looked out on the gathering. Like the LMH and Xex, she was monitoring the Decon field. When Ensign Davies was called out for itching, This was always so much easier with a transporter. But thats because transporters took someone apart into elementary particles. Anything that didn't belong in there wasn't reconstituted. When someone was whole, it was more of an ordeal.

Like a skinny shark, the bony Balsam passed by the protection field between Xex, Marwol, the LMH and those under quarantine. He gave a weak smile to the trio before he asked, "How-how's your chess game going?" He asked the LMH. "Have you been practicing?"

"Did someone say chess?" Ensign Davies -- who literally sat on his hands to avoid scratching at his bug bite -- spoke up from his decon slot, the question enthusiastically upturned in tone at the end. "I'm not very good but I love to play. You could use me to practice on," he offered to the LMH. "Too bad we don't have a chess board in here now. Would be a good way to pass the time," he said to Noah, who -- unlike the holographic doctor -- was just as susceptible to boredom as he himself was. "Would also keep me from scratching at this damn bite," Brian said, holding up his right arm to flash the glowing mound atop his skin. "Is yours itching as much as mine?" he asked, turning to regard Tor and Andrew.

The Valt, who had been more rubbing her sting, looked glowing with sweat. Sweaty. "Valt don't feel allergic reactions that way," she noted to Davies. "We feel... hot. Jittery hot." Tor explained. "I definitely feel hot."

Always an image of polite curiosity the LMH somehow seemed to give attention to all conversations at once while not making anyone seem to be ignored. To Noah and Brian he said, "I have been practicing. And reading books on the strategy. But I have refrained from any full program downloads.
It is an interesting teat in not accessing all of my knowledge banks, but relying simply on immediate logical reactions." He turned his gaze on Davies. "I am always happy for a new partner to learn from."

"Watch out," Noah added to Davies. "He's a sharp."

Xex nodded in agreement with each of the LMH's points, adding, "Being a tactical officer, I think the odds are high she has a full scan on file, but we shall check. Amber?" Keeping the comm open, he turned partially to the side, catching the woman's eye, "If you would, check into Kestrel's files and see if there are in fact any of the scans or mapping such as the LMH is talking about. Flag anything we might be able to use for reconstruction." Turning back to the isolation ward screen, he said to the LMH, "Barring that, we should be able to use her left foot and Argelian female standard skeletal mapping to fill in any blanks."

"We have them on file," Hartree report while her fingers danced fast over the controls. She drew a quick, fluid line and then flung at the wall monitor. The Argelian's anatomy came on-screen, simplified into LCARS.

Xex nodded, tapped a few things on the screen, and then snorted at the suggestion of placing Kestrel in stasis until the CMO could rest. He said in a stage whisper to Marwol, "Have you ever worked with a comedic LMH? This one thinks I am going to operate. LMH," he raised his voice again, "That is an excellent suggestion-- you are obviously far better suited to the task than I. Perhaps Doctor Marwol can consult?" He raised his eyebrows at Marwol, a silent question.

"I have," Gwenwyn said not returning the whisper. "You're talking about him... And he can hear you whisper about him, Doctor." He remarked as he and the old Gen4 LMH both were part of the old Ambassador starship before Dr. t'Nai rescued him and her push for the law to consider him as an artificial person.

Xex blinked, taken aback by Gwenwyn's frank answer. Perhaps Xex was more tired than he thought. He scrubbed at his face, as though to wake himself up. "I was just--" He started to explain and then abruptly, gave it up with a wave of his hand. "Nevermind. LMH, since she is already out, I think it's worth taking your advice and putting her in stasis until yourself and Doctor Marwol can reconstruct. I think it's past time we took a look at the cadet and make a plan so that we can get started immediately after decontamination."

"Absolutely doctor," the LMH said placidly. He seemed to inspect the Argelian and then accessed a hypospray, placing it against the unconscious woman's neck to top up her sedation until the decontamination process completed.

"They're not itching too badly," Andrew replied, his eyes drawn to the raised limb and then diverted since it didn't feel appropriate to stare at others undergoing decontamination. "Your bite was pretty deep though, so you may have got a higher dose of venom". Fatigue was the problem that he was fighting. The urge to slouch against the side of the chamber or curl up on the floor was strong. He felt his eyes roll up in his head and staggered a little to regain his balance as he snapped back to consciousness. It felt like this was taking forever.

Noah shivered. He was in only a pair of Spiderman underwear- a splash of reds and blues- and a SOJO undershirt. The violet light above made his pale skin look oddly lavender. He went back to his perch on the wall, waiting. His eye winced. His ear, more than his face, stung. And touching his ear brought in those strange, "this must be a dream," kinds of feelings at a trauma. His ear was... torn. That felt sort of like those fears of a tooth falling out of your mouth.

It was then that Noah looked around. His fingers danced near his naked thigh. He was counting. "Wuh-wait. Are we missing somebody?"

Davies, clad in a low-cut, black Sojo tank and a pair of dark gray boxer briefs, looked at Munro with kindness. The biologist seemed to be fighting sleep: probably a side effect of his body's reaction to the insect venom? That, or just a post-mission stress response: the body did tend to go into sleep mode after using up its reserves of endorphins and the like. "Hopefully we'll be out of here soon," he murmured to the man.

"I hope so," Andrew sighed. His whole posture seemed to sag along with his tone as he stood there in only his boxer briefs, exposing the various scratches on his legs and torso to the cleansing radiation.

To Tor, the entomologist made a sympathetic face. "Being hot from the inside-out is the worst. Not even stripping down to our skivvies can alleviate that," he said with sympathy. But then Noah was asking about someone being missing and Brian looked at the young man with concern. "Who's not here?" he asked.

Tor agreed with a sweaty nod on her glistening face.

Noah's eyes were, meanwhile, searching transparent data behind his eyes. "Did a-anyone see Jayden come up with us?"

Brian looked away, searching his own recollections of the moments precipitating take off in the Waverider. He'd been at the bottom of the ramp providing cover fire for the team returning from the abandoned complex. In his mind, he recounted the arrivals of that team: t'Nai, Ratthi, Marwol, and Margarar had all ran past him up the ramp, but now that Brian dived into his memories, he realized he hadn't seen Booth at all. " that you mention it, I didn't see him," the scientist said, concern edging his voice. "But I got back to the Waverider later than some, so assumed anyone I didn't see come up the ramp was already aboard. Computer," he intoned, "locate Crewman Booth?" The ask was lilted at the end into a question.

It took several moments longer than normal to get a response but, finally, one came: "Crewman Jayden Booth is not aboard the Sojourner," the computer responded.

"Crewmen Booth was killed in the line of duty," Gwenwyn spoke up staring at his servicemen through the glass. "They jumped onto Booth. The rest of the party was corned by local predator wildlife... It was in our best interest to use him for our escape." Pressing the button on the com, temporarily stopping bad language from being heard, Gwenwyn turned to Xex and said. "I'd like to sit down with you about my future serving you sir." Then turning back and re-opening comms, regaining his lock inside the decon cage.

Noah's face fell at the news and he paced back to the back of the Decon chamber.

"Crewman Booth--" Xex spoke up at the same time as Gwenwyn and immediately shut his mouth-- the ACMO would have a better accounting of Booth's end than what Xex had gleaned in a brief hallway exchange. He turned the bulk of his attention, and his gaze, to Gwenwyn, studying the man's profile as he related the events leading up to Booth's demise. As such, Xex was facing him when he silenced the comm and turned to him. "Of course," he said without pausing for thought. "Let's get these folks out of lockdown and on the way to recovery, then we can see where we stand, yeah?"

As Gwenwyn flipped the comm back on, Xex returned his attention inside. While his gaze was tracking Noah as he retreated, he spoke to the entire isolation ward, saying, "Your antihistamines are almost finished team-- just hang on a couple more minutes and we'll be able to make you much more comfortable. Or at least less itchy and/or hot. LMH," he added, "Can you give some reconstruction parameters for the cadet's ear?"

Booth was dead? Beset by some kind of wild cat? Davies couldn't but shiver at the way Marwol described using the attack on the security officer to facilitate their escape. That seemed...cold. Cold and dispassionate. "I'm glad you all got away," he offered darkly to Marwol but said no more than that. The comment wasn't sitting well with him and he distrusted his own voice not to betray him in that moment. Instead, he turned his gaze to Noah and the ear in question.

Approaching Noah, the LMH seemed to zero in on the cadet's ear for a moment before pausing before him and offering him a warm smile. "May I?" he asked indicating with a nod that he'd like to examine the ear in question.

The cadet acquiesced with a nod. His face, while normally pale, was etched with lines of concern, shock and duty. "Yeah," he turned his head to the Infolife to show the bandaged but bled-through wedge that was his ear.

Careful fingers unwrapped the bandage. The LMH took particular care when reaching the part of the bandaging that was closest to the wound, working slowly and gently to release the bandage where the blood hand mingled between the wound and the wrapping. When freed, the bandage was set to the side and the hologram's fingers returned to Noah's ear, gently touching to evaluate the depth of the wound.

"Mr. Balsam has a half inch laceration beginning at the top outer lobe of his ear and slicing inward, severing the cartilage," he reported, voice frank, but not unkind. The wound, itself, seemed lit up like the rest of the decontaminating injuries, in the LMH's view and he could see the raggedness of it. "It appears none of the major components are harmed, though the wound is a deep cut. Cellular reconstruction should be sufficient to repair the cartilage and dermal regeneration for the outer epidermal wound."

The Infolife's fingers dropped away from Noah's ear, meeting the cadet's eyes with a smile meant to approximate a jovial sort of bedside manner. "It looks worse than it is," he offered.

Xex watched with concentrated interest as Noah's ear was revealed, using the visuals on screen to magnify the area while the LMH inspected it. Switching the comm over to direct contact with the LMH, Xex said, "I want to run some auditory diagnostics before we reconstruct the cartilage and dermis-- just to be sure."

Opening back up the main comm, he offered, "And if you want, we can botch the reconstruction a bit, and give you a real nasty scar. War wound, if you like." Xex grinned, and added, "Or we'll get it sealed up, good as new. You won't even know you'd been nearly de-aurated."

Gweywn leaned into Xex, viewing the magnified image. "Doctors," Gweywn started "I believe we should review Dr zh'Clana theory paper, titled "2400 Medicine: Basic Reconstruction." Where she theorises a Kidney Electroseparator would self-heal a deep cut if it occurred again for a maximum period of 8 weeks."

Xex's lips thinned and he glanced sideways at Marwol. "When Doctor zh'Clana publishes anything but theory papers, perhaps I shall be inclined to consider her work," he said, acerbically. Then, in a quiet mutter, "Showboating busybody." Clearing his throat, his tired expression brightened into its usual positivity once again and he added, "But perhaps let us hope that the young cadet does not end up with another deep cut of this magnitude in the next eight weeks, hmm?"

Noah had, meanwhile, looked between the conversationalists- the ones he could hear over the comm and the others who were muted mouths moving, "I-I-I just want to be back to normal. All the normal holes and-and lines and... wuh-whatnot."

The LMH offered what could best be described as a reassuring smile and nodded. "Of course. I believe Dr. Wang is merely trying to lighten the overall mood. Inject humor."

"Oh," Noah blushed and wrinkled his nose in apology, "S-sorry."

The Infolife paused then, stilling as an internal process was called into service to respond to Xex's direct comms. "I agree, doctor," could be heard by Xex and Marwol though the LMH's lips did not move creating a bit of an uncanny dissonance as the message was transmitted. "Would you like me to perform those tasks now or wait until decontamination is complete?"

Directly to the LMH, Xex said, "If you don't think the decontamination would interfere, let's run it now. I'd prefer not to leave these poor folks in there any longer than we have to." A chime sounded on his console, and his attention flicked to it for a moment. Whatever he saw there made his expression brighten.

"Excellent!" the CMO exclaimed, and opened back up the comm into the room. "Who's ready to stop itching and/or sweating?" he asked rhetorically, then turned to the LMH-- although the Infolife did not need the courtesies of flesh-and-blood sentients, Xex had found that it made everyone else more comfortable to pretend like such beings were indeed flesh-and-blood sentients. "LMH, if you would, administer the antihistamines? They should be dialed up for hypospray administration, specific to each patient."

Tor leapt to her bare feet and paced directly to Xex, "Me. Very very much me," she said while she seemed to practically vibrate at either the notion of relief, or because she was trying not to scratch the welt on her arm where she'd been stung. When Xex deferred the role to the LMH, Tor did a side step to the hologram. "Line starts here."

Seemingly unphased by the Valt's enthusiasm, the LMH was already in the process of retrieving the appropriate hypos. With a practiced motion he pressed the one coded for Tor to her neck, depressing the release so that the familiar hiss of the pressurized injection sounded. "Ensign," the infolife said with a nod before turning to select the next hypospray.

"Doctor," Tor cooed as amiably as she could considering, with tired thanks in her tone.

Brian had taken the number two spot in line, watching Tor get her injection and excitedly anticipating his own shot. The itching was nigh unbearable and he was ready for some relief. "Better?" he asked the Valt, eyes moving to watch the LMH dial up the next dose. "I would very much like to not feel like my arm is on fire," he chuckled. It could have been worse, though, all things considered. A few bites that had gotten past their environmental suits was one thing; he could only imagine what would have happened if they'd been wearing standard uniforms.

Tor's sigh was of visible relief, "Much, thank you," She exclaimed with an equal sense of it in her voice. "You have no idea of annoying it is to have your spots itch..." she murmured. She turned back to Davies, her own thoughts mirroring his, "We're lucky we had so much padding between us and their incisors." She slow blinked. "I guess... some of us weren't so lucky." She looked toward the mangled Noah and the area Kestrel had been in. And then there was the absent Booth.

Andrew allowed Tor and Davies to go before him. Their itching seemed to be more severe than his, but it also gave him a few extra moments to summon the energy to move. "Doctor," he said to the LMH as he tilted his head to better expose his neck. It was probably psychological, but he felt relief as soon as he heard the hiss of the hypospray.

"Let's uh, give them some room to help everybody else," Tor suggested to Davies and Munro.

Xex spared half his attention to watch the administration of the hypos, the other on his readout screen, watching each patient's vitals. While antihistamines were hardly a risky treatment, one could never be too sure when having to synthesize new treatments quickly. Assuring himself that no one was going to drop into some kind of over-reactive shock, he thumbed the comm. His voice was almost gratingly bright as he informed them, "And the good news keeps coming! Only thirty-two minutes remain for your decontamination procedure! You're almost done."

The doctor then purposefully muted the comm to avoid any groans which may or may not have flooded out of the inmate-- patients.

He then turned to Marwol. "I do believe the LMH can finish up the decontamination procedures and Mr. Balsam's ear. Go get some rest and we'll fall into shifts from there. I want you well-rested to consult on Kestrel's foot," Xex directed his second. Then, to Hartree he added, "Let's prep the surgical suite for Kestrel. I suspect even the LMH will benefit from the suite's assistance. We can move her there once decontamination is complete, and she can remain in stasis until we can get to her. Thanks," he added, with a grateful-- if weary-- smile.

With that, the Sojourner's CMO turned back to the decontamination room to oversee the LMH's reconstruction of Balsam's ears, as well as to assure himself of the clean, decontaminated bill of health for the rest of the imprisoned crew members. Modern medical science willing, they would all be on their merry way in-- he glanced at the chrono-- less than half an hour.

Maybe then, they could begin to put Shaddam IVa behind them.

A Post By:

Lieutenant Xex Wang
Chief Medical Officer

Lieutenant Ariana Durand
Chief Science Officer

Lieutenant JG Gwenwyn Warwol
Assistant Chief Medical

Lieutenant JG Kestrel

Ensign Brian Davies

Ensign Jyl-eel Tor

Midshipman Noah Balsam
Systems Specialist

Petty Officer Amber Hartree
Medical Yeoman

Andrew Munro

Medical Hologram


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