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PROLOGUE: Supplementary [Sickbay]

[ USS Theurgy | Battle Sickbay | Main Medical Area | Deck 07 | 1000 hrs. ]

As Rihen Neyah's vision cleared, the interior of a starship medbay gradually came into focus.

She blinked a couple of times, then slowly moved her heterochromatic gaze around the area. She managed to ascertain that she was lying on a biobed and apart from her there were other figures in the room - patients and attending medical staff as well. After casting her thoughts back, she remembered that she had been trapped in the cabin of a hull crane, and that Eve - Eve Jenkins - had climbed out to beam her away from there. She had been bleeding...

In remembering, Rihen hoisted herself up on her elbows, finding herself wearing the wispy medical garb she had worn at the beginning of the week down on Theta Eridani IV. She raised her hand to the area of the neck that had been cut by the glass, and she was indeed a bit sore there. Yet she was nonetheless relieved to find that there was still contingency to this reality she was in, and trust to be found in the actuality of recent events.

Her eye drifted to read the monitor next to her, and while she could not make sense of what she read there, it was apparent that the sedatives had worn off. All I wanted was to fix my replicator, and here I am, injured half the time and wearing myself out doing repairs for Starfleet the other half. I should have stayed on Nimbus III. I could have found some other way to get Paradise City on its feet.

As she read the monitor, she felt a presence approaching her, and he looked around to find...

"Hi!" she said, her blinding and warm smile coming to her easily in half-greeting and half-confusion, throat still rather dry. Despite it all, she was Risian, and even if her life may be in constant peril and she had no idea how she would get back to Paradise City, her smile and her whole face lit up in genuine warmth and compassion.

OOC: This thread plays out just after the events in Part II of the Prologue and is open for all kind of plot development that takes place in Sickbay in the timeframe directly following the prologue.

The above scene takes place in one of the two Battle Sickbays (image to the left) which are both adjacent to Main Sickbay (image to the right). There are three of them because of the ship's MVAM-mode. Lucan is in Main Sickbay while Dr. Duv and Head Nurse Jenkins are in either of the two Battle Sickbays, both being assisted by an EHM (Mk. I or II):

Re: Prologue: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #1
[ USS Theurgy | Battle Sickbay | Main Medical Area | Deck 07 ]

"Hello there," her visitor greeted calmly.  "How are you feeling?  I'm Doctor Maya.  You're on the Theurgy.  You're quite safe here.  I'm here to help."

Ensign Maya, the ship's neurosurgeon, was a slender woman of indeterminate age. She had allowed the rather severe haircut favored by most of her people to grow out a bit and now her pageboy haircut had grown enough to hide the pointed tips of her ears.  Likewise, she had allowed her dark bangs to grow enough to hide the severe slant of her eyebrows.  Her almost egg white skin indicated that her ancestors had lived very close to the poles of her home planet of Vulcan.  Like Rihen, she had a story.  Almost everyone on this ship did. 
Doctor Maya graced the recovering Risian with one of her almost-smiles and went to her side with short dainty steps.  "How are you feeling?" she murmured in a flutelike voice with a strange Irish lilt. Wherever she had learned Federation Standard English wasn't at the Academy back on Earth.  "I've allowed the painkillers to wear off to more accurately diagnose you.  Can you eat anything?  Please sit up." 

Doctor  Maya didn't believe in prescribing drugs if she didn't have to, preferring to use a rare form of Vulcan neuropressure employed by touch telepaths that has truly remarkable applications. By touching specific nerve clusters and concentrating Maya could diagnose and even treat many ailments.  There was a similar technique on Risa.  Even now she was reaching out with her large hands and her long slender figures to grip and poke at her patient. 

"May I ask you your name?"  she asked as she spread the fingers of the left hand and place them on the left side of her patient's face.  Her right hand poked two fingers at the base of her spine, just above her injury where her spinal column entered her skull.  "I caught a glimpse of you at the Triage Centre down on Theta Eridani IV but I we never spoke.  You're Risian I presume?" 

Maya closed her eyes and Rihen would experience a total state of mental state where she would be completely aware of herself and nearly every organ in her body. She might also have felt a strange tingling sensation through every nerve in her body.  She would be momentarily paralyzed, but the sensation would leave as quickly as it came.

 "It's a fascinating culture," Doctor Maya continued in a conversational tone. "Open your gown," she added as she shrugged the Rihen's wispy medical garb off to expose her magnificent torso to view.  "I've always wanted to visit your world," the Vulcan said in a business like tone.  "Your culture is almost diametrically opposite to my own.  It sounds intriguing."  Once again, Rihen would enter a momentary state of balance and self-awareness as her physician placed three fingers on the back of the Risian's spinal column, right between the shoulder blades.  "And very liberating," she added as she pulled the Risian's medical gown back onto her shoulders. 

"Could you please turn towards me?" Maya instructed as she pulled back Rihen's covers to pull on her legs so that the Risian was sitting up with her feet off the bed.  "Now open your legs please?  Thank you," she said as she opened her legs and poked her inner thigh with four fingers.  The Doctor's other hand poked three fingers into her lumbar vertebrae.  Another feeling of self-awareness would sweep over the Risian.  If she ever lost her medical license the Vulcan would probably be a great masseuse.   

"I apologize," Maya said as she closed her patient's legs, unbent her knees and slid her patient back into bed.  "You must have many questions," she added as she closed Rihen's gown.  I'll be happy to answer them if I can."

Re: Prologue: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #2
The Vulcan seemed a tad more... sociable than her people usually were. While a surprise to Rihen, it was a positive surprise.

"My neck is a bit tender but I do think I could eat something," she said, her smile blossoming again as she sat up on the biobed when asked to - propping herself up with her hands behind herself.  The Starfleet medic was running a hand behind her back when she sat thus, and she was also touching Rihen's face. This was nothing like the treatments Eve Jenkins had given her back on Nimbus III, or when she had been shot for that matter. She was intrigued, and let the Vulcan continue while answering. "Nice to meet you, doctor, my name is Rihen Neyah."

As two fingers pressed into her neck, Rihen slowly sucked a breath into her lungs, letting her head tilt to the side to give the Vulcan easier access. The warm sensation of her blood quickening to the pressure treatment rushed through her head, and she beamed with delight. "Yes-s, I was in the Triage Centre and I may have seen you down there as well. I was shot in the back of my shoulder, but I was cleared after a couple of days. Oh, and yes, I am from Risa. You have an astute eye, doctor..." Then again, she supposed the biobed's readings would probably have relayed as much.

Then, something... different happened.

Rihen's eyes fluttered shut and her breath hitched in her throat. It was like her world narrowed down to her body, and then her body became the only thing alive, vibrant to her senses, and a soothing, warm feeling spread though her limbs and torso - extending through her nerve centres. It was like a hot shower, curating her, untying knots and soreness she never knew she had. It left her flushed, and her lips pursed in pleasure as the feeling reached her lower body. She tilted her head back against those fingers and...

"It's a fascinating culture. Open your gown."

Rihen's eyes opened languidly to the words, the sensation gone. "Yes, d-doctor," she replied and sat up more straight when the Vulcan moved to stand a bit behind her. Rihen reached behind her neck to untie the gown, and no longer had it become undone than it fell off her shoulders. She knew what kind of propriety was expected of her when dealing with Starfleet, so as she shrugged to let it fall further, she cupped her hands over her heavy and rounded breasts to keep the gown from baring her to the whole area filled with people. She would not have minded the least, but she knew - from Theta Eridani IV - that it was not a good idea. She believed they called them 'regulations'. At least that was what she had been told. Repeatedly.

"Risa is magnificent," she said to the doctor when she spoke of her home, but she did not want to delve further into that topic since she had been exiled. She felt fingers against the middle of her back again, and once more, the feeling reasserted itself. Again, her eyes fluttered shut, and she breath shuddered as she exhaled - feeling the peaks of her breasts keenly against her palms through the fabric of her gown. Once the outside world reasserted itself, she could not help the dreamy smile that came to her. "Liberating i-is the w-word, yes."

The doctor helped pull up her gown, and Rihen tied it again with trembling fingers, not sure what to say. "Yes, d-doctor," she merely replied automatically as she was told to set her legs down. So she did, looking up against the Vulcan when she spoke. When told to spread her legs, Rihen found herself doing this without second thought, her mind drifting as the warm feeling of the neuropressure treatment permeated her mind. The fingers were there, at her smooth inner thighs, and Rihen held her breath, lips pursed as she set her hands behind herself on the biobed and leaned back a bit - her mismatched eyes wide in wonder as she looked at the doctor. The Vulcan half-embraced her - a hand felt at the bottom of her spine - and a third time, the sensation came, and she could not help the groan that escaped her throat at the intense feeling began at the juncture of her thighs and overtook her mind. She had only felt something so intense during jamarahron, and it made her whole body shiver in the onset of the climax - back arched and eyes rolling on the waves of pleasure as her head tilted back. For while the sensation left her, the afterglow remained.

"Ap-Apologise?" Rihen asked incredously when she could lie down again, breath quick and her heart fluttering in her chest. She laid the back of her hand against her forehead where she lay, and a breathless smile reasserted itself. She cleared her throat. "That was certainly nothing to apologise for. Questions? Forgive me, my mind is wiped clean... Oh, well, when will I be cleared to leave?"

The Vulcan would have been very popular in Suraya Bay, that much was certain.

Re: Prologue: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #3
[ USS Theurgy | Battle Sickbay | Main Medical Area | Deck 07 ]

“You should be released very soon,” Maya commented as she retrieved a hand held device that vaguely resembled a microwielder from an open medical kit on the desk near the entrance.  “We have a lot of people injured and we need the beds.  I closed your initial wound but I’d like to follow up with the dermal regenerator if that’s alright.”

“Turn so your back is to me please,” she added as she approached her patient.  Soon she was applying a red beam to the back of Rihen’s neck, causing the angry scab to be replaced by smooth buttery skin.  “You have lovely skin; atheistically it would be a shame to let it scar,” the little Vulcan commented in an attempt to make small talk.

The small talk wasn’t just an attempt at a bedside manner; it was an attempt at a distraction.  Maya realized that she shouldn’t have offered to answer Rihen’s questions; technically, she couldn’t.  Whether or not to reveal the infiltration and betrayal of Starfleet was the captain’s call, not hers.  Only Jien Ives could decide whether to burden Rihen with that knowledge and predict what the repercussions would be for lovely Risian.

If Starfleet discovered that Rihen Neyah had spoken to or actually been aboard the Theurgy, the conspiracy that had taken it over would mark her for death.  If she left the ship and went around telling people about the way Starfleet was compromised her lifespan would be measured in days or weeks, but not in years.  If she found out, she’d be a fugitive like everyone aboard.  It would be the end of her normal life.  Maya had no right to burden her with that knowledge.

Therefore, the Vulcan physician had to distract Rihen with conversation, an art she was fascinated with but had never mastered. It didn'’t matter what they talked about as long as it wasn’t the current situation and why Starfleet was out to get the Theurgy.

It was likely that Rihen was stuck aboard this ship for a while.  It was important to find her something to do.  Maya had seen enough spirits broken in her time and wanted to keep the plucky Risian sane and healthy for as long as possible.  “I have no right to ask you this, but we need your help.   I understand that your world has raised the art of recreation to a science, has it not?”

“The crew has been going through a great deal in the last few months,” Maya confessed.  “We have been through ordeals that have violated our bodies, stripped us of our dignity, challenged our free will and cost us our shipmates.  We are cut off from our allies and suspicious of everyone.  Casualties are mounting and we are getting few replacements.  Morale is dangerously low.  I can meditate, but others are finding it difficult to cope.”

"“Even the procreative act, once considered the most intimate form of recreation, has become abhorrent to much of the crew,” Maya admitted, as she recalled the infection the crew had contracted in the Mahéwa System and the influence of the entity known as ‘Istar’.  “Medical ethics prevent me from going into details, but the majority of the crew now experience feelings of shame instead of euphoria at the thought of physical copulation.  This is counter to what is normal from a group of young healthy men and women.  Their most treasured form of release has been taken from them.”
"“The people aboard this ship must learn how to play again,"” Maya insisted.  "“They are not Vulcans.  They cannot be expected to cope forever.  They must do things together and form connections again.  They must have their survival instincts and their faith restored so they will have the strength to face the ordeals ahead.  I do not fully understand the process, but many sentient beings gain pleasure from frivolous and wasteful activity.  But right now it is neither frivolous nor wasteful.  It is essential.  If the officers and crew of the Theurgy expect to survive, we need to relearn how to play.  We have forgotten how.  Can you help us?  Any assistance, no matter how minor would be appreciated.”

Re: Prologue: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #4
When she was asked to sit up again, Rihen chuckled, a comment about needing to catch her breath after what the Vulcan just did to her on the tip of her tongue. Yet since the doctor did not seem to have noticed - or did not have any comment about - Rihen's response to the neuropressure treatment, the Risian engineer just did as she was asked, her smile a bit lethargic as she set her feet down in the opposite side of the biobed. She tilted her head a bit to give free access to the Vulcan in order treat her neck with her medical instrument.

At the compliment, Rihen beamed as she looked over her shoulder briefly. "Thank you for saying so, Doctor Maya!" she said before having to look forward again and not obstruct the use of the regenerator. Her gaze became distant as she spoke. "I really do not deserve it, though. I am not doing anything to take care of my skin. I fix machines, get myself dirty with grease and oil. On Nimbus III we have desert climate. You know, feeling thirsty, the sun making you squint and with sandstorms making your clothes chafe all the time? Well, at least there was no trouble getting water warm enough when you did purchase enough to fill a basin to rinse yourself off."

Thoughts of the weather control system she wanted to build preoccupied her mind until the Vulcan made her return to the real world with a request for help. "Me? Help?" she blinked and looked over her shoulder, "You mean my people on Risa? Yes, you could say that. It's not called the Pleasure Planet for nothing."

Then Rihen listened to the Vulcan as she spoke of the needs of the crew. Of course, having spent a week together with these Starfleet people down on the planet they had just left under highly hazardous circumstances, Rihen had heard the rumours, even learned some about the fact that they were alienated by Starfleet Command. Yet regardless of the politics and the right and the wrong, what the doctor described at length sounded serious, and her old calling from before she had been exiled from Risa stirred in her heart. It did not come to her without a sense of bitterness, though, since for all she knew, her father was still managing the circus in Suraya Bay, and he was mad at her because of what she had done. She did not know if her mother was still looking for her after all these years since she left.

"I..." she began, turning around to face the Vulcan slowly when she was done with the treatment. "I entertained on Risa, years ago. I was not... Well I guess I was good at pleasing the guests. I had long, dark hair. I danced for them. At one of the circuses, I juggled blades... until I was hurt. I dare not do that again. Not with sharp or burning blades. What I am best at is what I have been doing for years now. What I helped out with on Theta Eridani IV. I fix things. I am good with machines and computers. I make them work again."

She did not mention her side affairs with repairing items that guests on Risa brought. Nor did she tell Maya that her love for her craft had made her help repair weapons too, and when those weapons ended up being used for murder on Risa, where weapons were prohibited, she had been exiled for life. She shrugged and tugged at her gown where she sat. Despite her feelings, she felt compelled by the situation. The great need of those around her.

"I don't think I can be of much help... I don't remember much about pleasing guests on Risa, even less do I know where to begin here, on a starship."

Re: Prologue: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #5
[ USS Theurgy | Battle Sickbay | Main Medical Area | Deck 07 ]

"First, do no harm."

It was a maxim phrased differently, yet repeated on many planets and in many languages throughout the Federation.  Simply stated it meant that given an existing problem, it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good. It reminded the health care provider that they must consider the possible harm that any intervention might do. It was invoked when debating the use of an intervention that carries an obvious risk of harm but a less certain chance of benefit.

Once again, Maya's poor communication skills had placed her patient's welfare in jeopardy. 

Rihan had apparently misinterpreted Maya's words as a request for a sexual facilitator.  On Vulcan Maya would lose her license merely by making the suggestion.  Even on other worlds, making a request to a recovering patient under her care could jeopardize both the patient's wellbeing and Maya's career.  It was the second time that Maya's attempt at making a connection had placed Rihen in jeopardy.  This was the reason that all worlds instructed their physicians not to form connections or attachments to any of their patients.  It was bad for the patients and bad for the doctors, simple as that.  Maya's selfish attempt at rebellion was hurting people under her care.

Maya considered herself a rebel.  Inwardly, she claimed to have rejected her people's ways and craved fun and excitement.  But the sedate Vulcan didn't seem to know what fun and excitement was.  Her idea of getting wild and living dangerously was wearing a formal gown and attending an opera.   Still her heart was in the right place.  Maya never judged.  She could be friends with anyone.  In that way she was almost Risian.  She was a great listener.  But she was a terrible talker.   When she wasn't on the job Maya never showed initiative and never took charge. 

You could take the girl off Vulcan, but you couldn't take Vulcan off the girl.  While Maya believed she was being liberal and rebellious she was anything but.  But she was easygoing, at least she was easygoing.  Not that anyone would know.  Unlike the tech savvy Risian, Maya wasn't exactly expressive.  While others laughed out loud, Maya smiled politely.  While others openly wept, Maya only expressed quiet disappointment.  Unless you were telepathic, you had no idea what was going on under those dark bangs. 

The doctor's posture and demeanor changed as if someone had changed frequencies.  Gone was the warm and talkative woman who Rihen had met earlier.  In her place was a stone faced Vulcan who could be compared to a machine.  Maya's face lost all expression.  Her voice, while always polite and professional, now became dead and toneless.  There was a Vulcan in the room, but what she had done with Doctor Maya could not be determined.

"My apologies," the Vulcan said dryly.  "I did not mean to offend or attempt to procure your services for the crew's benefit.  I had merely intended to request your assistance in developing new ideas for the purposes of recreation.  It is obvious that I have overstepped my bounds.  I apologize and withdraw my request.  In the meantime, you appear to have physically recovered from your ordeal and if you are feeling up to it I can release you from sickbay.  When you're ready Yeoman Henshaw can assign you quarters and an assignment if you wish to assist us."

She had come so close to making a friend!  It was hard to for the little Vulcan to make friends.  Many of her closest friends weren't aware that they were her friends at all, and all because Maya had been raised by traditional parents who were over two centuries out of date!  Maya reacted to this setback the way she had been raised to.  When you felt passionate about something, you found your center and you went... dead. 

Dead.  Living on Vulcan was the next best thing to being dead.  Maya had attended autopsies with more life than her graduation celebration from the Vulcan Learning Center back home.  All of her people had such telepathic potential, the chance to really communicate, but they had been trained since birth to put up their psychic shields and repress their feelings.  It was like being raised on a planet of dead men. 

Other people were so much more invigorating!  Once Maya had taught herself how to lower her empathic shields, she could actually detect their presences and even have an inkling of what they were feeling!  It was so wonderful!  She was no longer alone!

But interpreting that information was something she wasn't good at.  Worse yet, because she could sense what others were feeling she assumed that the information went both ways.  Sometimes she didn't realize that she would actually have talk to people to communicate! 

It was obvious why both Captain Ives and Doctor Nicander had turned down her offer to fill in as ship's counselor after they lost Lieutenant Nelis.  Despite her training in psychology, Maya simply wasn't qualified.  She was glad that the captain of the Harbinger had allowed their counselor to be transferred here.  She was really needed, and Maya would cause more harm than good trying to do the job.

Re: Prologue: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #6
While Rihen had felt compelled by the idea, much because she had wanted to change Paradise City into the image of Risa before she got into this mess with Starfleet killing each other, the change in the doctor's demeanour threw Rihen completely off guard.

"What? No... You did not offend me. You do not have to apologise," she said and struggled to get up on her feet. She bounced down from the biobed and tried to reach and hold the Vulcan's hands in her own, "Please, you have it all wrong. I would like to help, to assist in any way I can, but I just don't know how. You have not overstepped your bounds at all. I am Risian by blood, and while I have not been there for years, hospitality and generosity towards strangers of all origin runs in my blood."

She might have been cleared to leave, but she did not want the Vulcan to think she had done wrong in asking for her assistance in this. Like she had said, given the state of the crew's morale, some kind of measures taken were essential. She let go of the Vulcan's hands and ran her fingers through her own short, dyed hair, looking to the ceiling for answers. "There is a Lounge aboard? Right? It is called Below Decks, isn't it? I think my services as an engineer might be a priority in the eyes of the bosses on this ship, but..." Her smile returned to her as she looked back towards Doctor Maya. "Perhaps I can try to talk with the Proprietor there about putting up some kind of entertainment. I have not juggled my blades for years, but I might still be able to do something basic. I can tell stories... If I remember any. Sing? I was complimented on my singing back then, but I don't know if that was just something people said because they liked my company. I don't play any instruments, but perhaps someone aboard can play something?"

The ideas were... invigorating. She had dreamed to do these things once she had helped Paradise City on its feet, but now was a chance to do it ahead of time for a crew that really needed it.

"As for 'procreation', as you put it, doctor," she said and could not help but giggle a little behind her hand at the dry term for something so beautiful, "I think it might be bad to openly encourage it on its own because of the trauma that people have gone through... But during my show... I could provide items of some sort that would substitute for horga'hn statuettes. I would explain how they worked and I would let people use them in the way they were originally intended if they wanted to during the evening. Also..."

She cleared her throat a little and looked around before whispering with an amused smile. "...I was wearing overalls when I got here. Where are they now? I think the gentlemen and women behind me is liking the opening in this gown a little too much for Starfleet regulations."

Re: Prologue: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #7
Maya was dead inside as the Risian struggled out of the biobed to reassure her. "What? No... You did not offend me. You do not have to apologise," Rihen stammered as she her lovely feet hit the sickbay floor and she seized the Vulcan's hands with her own.

Maya didn't really listen to the next part.

On the planet Vulcan, when a couple decides to publicly display affection, they take two fingers and touch the two extended fingers of their paramour.  If they want to be really passionate about it, or single a desire for foreplay or sexual copulation, they will slowly use their two fingers to alternatively gently rub up their paramour's fingers and use only those two fingers to caress the back of their sweetheart's hand. 

If touching two fingers was like kissing for Maya, having Rihen grasp her hands was like having the lovely Risian holding her in her arms, bending her backwards, locking her lips around Maya's and fondling her tonsils with her tongue.  To say it was a bold and friendly gesture would be an understatement. 

To make matters worse Maya was an extremely powerful touch telepath.  She was so good at it that by touching certain nerve clusters on Rihen's body she could use the Risian's own nervous system as a diagnostic tool.  Maya's hands were extremely sensitive to psychic input.  Maya could put up her mental shields, but Maya didn't want to put up her mental shields.  She was lonely.  She was desperate to make a real connection with anybody whose spirit hadn't been broken and still had a sense of optimism. 

So startled was the Vulcan when Rihen held her hands that she let her mental shields slip, just for an instant.  She was immediately flooded with Rihen's compassion and concern for her.  It was just what she wanted and it took all of the little Vulcan's willpower not to drop her mental shields completely. 

"Please, you have it all wrong," the lovely Risian informed her. "I would like to help, to assist in any way I can, but I just don't know how. You have not overstepped your bounds at all. I am Risian by blood, and while I have not been there for years, hospitality and generosity towards strangers of all origin runs in my blood."

Maya's face flushed with a greenish tint as her eyes bulged open.  She shuddered and grimaced strangely and tried not to cross her eyes or moan out loud.  She staggered backwards and hugged herself when Rihen finally let go of her hands.  Her left hand grasped her heart that in her Vulcan physiology was located roughly were a human's liver would be.  It was beating an astronomical unit a minute.  Her right hand had seized her left breast.  Her nipple had become aroused and Maya didn't want Rihen to know.  Holding hands was like being groped in the nude while being given a big smooch, and even inadvertently, Rihen was an amazing kisser.

Rihen seemed to sense the Vulcan's distress and had the decency to look away. "There is a Lounge aboard? Right?" the enchanting Risian asked as she ran her fingers through her short, dyed hair as she kept her eyes on the ceiling until the little Vulcan could compose herself. "It is called Below Decks, isn't it? I think my services as an engineer might be a priority in the eyes of the bosses on this ship, but..." Her smile returned to her as she looked back towards Doctor Maya.

Maya was struggling to compose herself and bravely almost-smiled at Rihen.  She nodded awkwardly and pursed her lips as she continued to hug herself. 

"Perhaps I can try to talk with the Proprietor there about putting up some kind of entertainment," Rihen suggested. "I have not juggled my blades for years, but I might still be able to do something basic. I can tell stories... If I remember any."

"Do you know any songs," Maya stammered as she kept one arm around herself and brushed her bangs out of her face with her other hand.  "Stories are often hidden in old songs.  If you can sing..."

"Sing?" Rihen repeated. "I was complimented on my singing back then, but I don't know if that was just something people said because they liked my company. I don't play any instruments, but perhaps someone aboard can play something?"

"I.. I... I can play a number of instruments including the harp and the Terran piano," Maya offered as she tried to stop her voice from quavering.  "W-we could play something upbeat and not aggressive, something that would get them relaxed enough for intimacy and procreation..."  Maya winced and died a little inside.  Procreation?  She meant communication!   She simply didn't want the crew to be disgusted at themselves and ashamed of their bodies!  She shut her eyes and nodded awkwardly as Rihen offered to work the idea into her act.  She brought herself back to Vulcan when the Risian cleared her throat to get her attention.

The Risian cleared her throat. "I was wearing overalls when I got here," Rihen smiled with a hint of pride. "Where are they now? I think the gentlemen and women behind me is liking the opening in this gown a little too much for Starfleet regulations."

"Hm?" Maya blinked.  "My apologies.  Your apparel is being cleaned.  I'll have them returned to you at the first opportunity.  In the meantime we can get you something to wear.  Do you need physical therapy?  Or are you ready to leave?  Computer, activate the short term emergency medical hologram."

Appearing in the room nearby was a bald medical officer who appeared to be in his forties.  "Please state the nature of the medical emergency."

"Please get our guest something to wear," Maya instructed.

The hologram frowned.  "I don't understand.  I'm a doctor; not a personal valet.  This is a waste of my capabilities.  Why don't you have an orderly do it?"

"We're shorthanded right now," Maya explained.  "You have your instructions.  I expect you to execute them."

"Unbelievable," the hologram rolled his eyes.  This was one of the original Mark I EMH's that was patterned off its programmer, Doctor Lewis Zimmerman.  After her return from the Delta Quadrant and her promotion, Admiral Janeway had insisted that each of the remaining 675 Mk I EMHs be updated and installed on all new starships constructed until they had all been assigned.  When given a choice, most personnel preferred to use the other EMH on board, a Mark II.

OOC:  Maya's so repressed that shaking hands with Rihen is like being flattened by a steamroller! ;D

Re: Prologue: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #8
She stood outside the sickbay for a good five minutes before she slowly and apprehensively steeped into the entrance of sickbay her arms folded resting on the small of her back as she did her best to look imposing hoping it would help delay this as long as possible. Looking around she couldn't help but feel a twinge of compassion for the patients knowing some of them would be waking to find people they cared for and loved where gone. It was truly a horrible feeling. Cold green eyes continued looking around looking over all the patients and attending medical staff she could wondering which would be the one that would get a surprise today. Just that taught brought a small but slightly out of place smile to her lips. Letting a small breath escape she slowly walked a little deeper into the medbay looking more uncertain then the bravado she had tried to show at the door.

((OOC: Sorry for the shortness of the post))

Re: Prologue: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #9
Inside she saw a busy sickbay filled with wounded Starfleet personnel as well as a few civilians.  There was some medical staff, and they all looked overworked.  A darkly handsome young human male who looked way too young for his lieutenant commander's pips seemed to be giving the orders.  Two attractive young women, a human and a trill would emerge from an examination room and take another patient.  Those who could stand waited and tried to stay out of the way. 

"Yes petty officer, can I help you?" A bald man in his forties wearing a Starfleet uniform with a blue collar addressed her.  Over his arm he had draped a battleship gray set of coveralls an in his hand he had a set of women's size shoes.  The look on his face was impatient.  He didn't have a rank pin so he must have been an orderly.  "If you want to help out, see Doctor Nicander,  he's right over there," he instructed as he pointed to the youthful officer in charge.   "If you'll excuse me, I have menial tasks to do." the hologram snorted as he made his way through sickbay and back into the examination room where Doctor Maya and Rihen Neyah were waiting.
"Here you go my dear," he smiled as he handed the lovely Risian some clothing.  "A brand new set of coveralls for you.  They have a lotion on the interior lining so as not to chafe that lovely skin of yours."  His smile vanished as he turned to the little Vulcan.  "Ensign, if there's nothing further, some of us have medicine to practice." 

"Nothing further," Maya replied, her mask of Vulcan inscrutability restored.

"Thank you," the hologram blew out an exasperated sigh before shaking his head and leaving the exam room to rejoin the chaos in sickbay, his grumbling audible but fading into the background.  "50 million gigaquads of computer memory and she has me..."

Maya brushed a lock of her onyx bangs out of her eyes. "Are you strong enough to leave sickbay or do you need physical therapy?  I don't mean to rush you, but we we're very busy here and we need the beds."

OOC:  Probably not going to be able concentrate on my posts for a week.  Hopefully this frees Rihen to get dressed and interact with other characters in the meantime.

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #10
Accepting the garment from the holographic doctor, Rihen smiled and thanked him kindly for his help. "These will be lovely, thank you."

Then came the delicate predicament of getting into the clothes in the public area. For while Rihen would not mind being topless briefly while she changed in the open, she knew Starfleet would. Instead, she came up with the idea to pull on the borrowed overall underneath the hospital gown and then untying the gown behind the neck once she had covered herself sufficiently. While doing this, she answered the Vulcan doctor.

"While I really enjoyed your therapy, doctor, I could not in good concise take up space here in Sickbay anymore. I feel fine," she told Maya, struggling to get her arms out of the gown and into the overalls. "I need to go and find out where I should be staying now that I don't have a modular shelter anymore, and I need to go down to your engineers and see where they want me to help. I will get in touch with you about that show, though."

Done, she dropped the gown on the biobed and pulled the zipper of the overalls up halfway, as she always did out of personal habit. Then, after tugging on her shoes and smoothing her new overalls over her hips, she took Maya's hands again with a smile and kissed her on the cheek. "Thank you for everything, doctor!"

Then, she left Sickbay, humming a tune from her youth - the show already on her mind.

The centre of Main Sickbay was actually a rather small area, with a single, highly sophisticated biobed at the very core.

Grey eyes cool like stones, Dr. Lucan cin Nicander stepped out of a surgical suite and entered this area, ordering Nurse Maal to bring the most recent inventories of their medical supplies. Then, Lucan tapped his combadge. "Computer, relay this message to all medical personnel: All treated patients that can recuperate in their quarters is to be released and followed up on there if absolutely necessary. We need to focus on the patients that has to stay here longer than twelve hours. Nicander out."

Before him, Sarresh Morali's stasis unit was just to be docked into the central biobed. It was being scanned for lingering bacteria. Other personnel was making sure that all equipment was accounted for and placed in their rightful spot - sterilised and arranged according to standardised rows. Then, the nurses present were assigned to different doctors and Sickbay areas, and Lucan was left alone with the Temporal Affairs Officer. Or rather, what remained of him.

So what would be most beneficial? he thought Treatment with success... or with failure? Given all circumstances, it was not an easy question to answer, with the parasite inside wanting one thing, and while he personally though there was great merit in both alternatives.

Standing before the stasis unit in his white lab coat, movement in his peripheral vision made Lucan turn his eyes. Into the area limped a white-haired woman with blood all over her uniform. Lucan frowned and turned in her direction. She seemed to be looking for someone, and she looked in great need of medical attention. He glanced towards the stasis unit before him again before walking over to the woman. With so many injured, it was expected that they would be up and about and go looking for their doctors themselves when none came to them for too long.

"Do you require medical assistance, Petty Officer?" he asked as he came up to her and fished in his pocket for his medical tricorder, "I'm Doctor Nicander, has no one else taken a look at you yet?"

It was a fine specimen of a human woman, yet Lucan's mind was still too centred on the Ash'reem behind him to truly take notice just yet.

OOC: Pardon the delay. Busy weekend. You are up, Cathreen!

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #11
The inside of sickbay looked just like what it was. The aftermath of a battle where there was no real winners. She felt for the people who where injured and the people who where caring for them knowing  some of them wouldn't be leaving this place. Hearing a voice she could tell didn't belong to anything human her cold green eyes turned to its source. "I just need to be cleared for duty," she said looking over the blue collar seeing he was at least part of the medical staff. Seeing his bald head she couldn't help but smirk softly thinking at least with all their technology they would have found a cure for baldness. She looked over to the one she found out was Doctor Nicander knowing that he would be more then likely would find out everything. All she could do now was rest assured in the fact that her people where safe. The man looked almost imposing something she found was common with an officer in charge. "Try not to have to much fun with the menial tasks," she said as she slowly started approaching Doctor Nicander feeling her heart pounding in her chest.

Even though she was walking at normal speed it seemed everything around her was going at a slow pace. Voice blurred as everyone around her seemed to be going at a slow speed. The heightened sense of her surroundings was something she hated. Her eyes finally fell on the stasis unit and through the small window in front she could see what remained of a man. One she was here to help and hopefully give better life then what was being proposed. Her eyes remained on what was left of the person in the stasis unit It wasn't until someone walked in front of her that everything seemed to move again at normal speed as she looked up into the cool gray eyes of the doctor. "No, its not as bad as it looks I can assure you," she said flinching ever so slightly seeing him fishing in his pocket for something. "I just arrived. I was looking for the doctor in charge of the care of the Temporal Affairs Officer Sarresh Morali and it seems I found him. I'm here to offer my help as it is," she said shaking her head slightly knowing it was too soon to go into that.

"Sorry its too soon to talk about that," she said offing him a soft smile. She knew words wouldn't mean anything unless he saw proof of what she was talking about. To do this she knew he would have to see that she wasn't human. "Please go ahead and do your examination all I ask is that you don't panic at results. Afterwords I think it would be best to talk some place private. These people have been through enough and I don't think they should go through more,"

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #12
At the point where Lucan got his medical tricorder out of his lab coat's pocket, his movements had become slow, and a frown had entered his exotic features. His irises, almost opaque in their grey colour, did a double take up and down her appearance when she said she wanted to help treat the Ash'reem yet also said it was too soon to speak of what kind of treatment she was suggesting. It was quite seldom his high social acumen - which was cultivated from the necessity of survival and preserving hidden, life-long goals - left him completely bereft of an answer as to what someone's intentions may be. The human's meaning was entirely unknown, and while such things used to make him worry, he had come to appreciate these rare little mysteries of his clandestine life.

He was even more consternated when she asked him to do his scanning... and even warned him of the potential results. What little secrets are you hiding, sweetling? It was in part the beast thinking... the notion to bite her throat out flashing before his eyes - none showing in his demeanour.

"As you wish, Petty Officer," he said in his Câroon accent, judging that there was little he could do but to do as she asked if he wanted to learn what may be at hand. He separated the two parts of the medical tricorder and raised them with his tattooed hands, looking at the readings while he moved the scanner up and down the air before the short woman's well-sculpted torso and pretty face. The first readings seemed perfectly expected. Human readings; perfectly boring. Injuries; perfectly treatable. Good stamina; perfectly intriguing. Organ readi...

The hand holding the scanner paused, and he frowned, looking at the readings anew. He thumbed a sequence, magnifying the discrepancy, and it all became glaringly clear that this was no ordinary human. No, this was a very sophisticated attempt to appear one, probably passing through all kinds of medical examinations, but... it was like the DNA structure was changing while Lucan looked at it. Changing to what, though?

Lucan raised his pale grey eyes to the humanoid, unblinking as he looked into her green eyes. He had not seen her readings before. "I think we better step into my office, Petty Officer."

His eyes lingering on hers, he turned to gesture towards the far end of the area, walking with her there. "Thea, do you mind shutting the door?" he asked quietly once they were there, and with a mechanical sound, glass walls gradually slipped out to seal off the area. "Shade them, please."

With an small energy current through the moving walls, they became frosted, and the Petty Officer had the privacy she had requested... for better or worse.

"So," said Dr. Nicander and folded his tattooed hands behind his back, looking at his guest as he stood opposite her. His expression was serious. Professional. "I take it you are going to tell me who... and what you are?"

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #13
As soon as she saw his medical tricorder it truly sank in for the first time that it was over. Before she would have been able to pass it off as the result of being hit in the head. Her eyes remained on him seeing for a doctor there where some handsome features to his face. Maybe if things where different she would have taken the time to enjoy them. She had seen the double take when he heard her offer to help knowing that in her current form and her current condition the taught of her helping someone was almost laughable. "Cardamone, please," she said her voice shaking ever so slightly. It was scary knowing the mask she had been so accustom to wearing was about to be pulled away and they would be seeing the creature she truly was. One that was unlike anything they had come across before. Her eyes remained on him as his ran his medical tricorder over her body. She knew eventually he would find something that wasn't right.

She stayed still waiting for it to happen and she could see the moment it did. As his hand paused and a frown formed over his lips she could tell he found something that wasn't right. Something that wasn't human. "And there we have the truth of things," she said letting out a small sigh. Her eyes looked into his as he raised his pale gray ones. Some part of her wondered the reaction. Would he be afraid? It would not be unexpected. Call for security? It would probably be wise. When he spoke she only nodded her head softly. Walking with him they passed the tray of supplies she quickly retrieved a hypospray knowing she would need it for her plan. "Thank you for not panicking the others," she said as she walked into his office slowly approaching the desk laying the hypospray down.

When the glass walls slipped out to seal off the area and they became frosted she felt a little more at ease feeling better that they wouldn't be able to see what was about to happen. Since her back was turned towards him she had to look over her shoulder as he spoke of tell who and what she was. "As I am sure you where able to pick up the genetic procedure that allows me to look human in slipping so to speak. Since I don't have the technology with me to fix it. I was planing on showing you what I am Doctor Nicander. Afterwords if you feel the need to contact the captain and security I understand. In order to allow this I do need to remove this uniform. I am sure you will see why soon enough," she said reaching up to unzip her uniform jacket. It would take a little to get ready to get to a state where she could change comfortably. "As for who. To put it in the most easy simple terms I am a spy. I was sent here to learn about the Federation and determine if they posed a threat," she said slipping off her jacket revealing tone pale arms and a gray tank top. Folding it carefully she laid it on his desk. "Nothing more then curiosity about something we have not encountered before," she said slowly slipping off the tank top revealing a simple white lace bra and two long scars that ran from her shoulder blades down to the small of her waist. Aside from the scares her skin was smooth pale flawless perfection.

"I would tell you how I could help Sarresh Morali but like many other things I find it is more believable if it is seen. You see my kind have the ability to heal. And heal at a rapid pace which is why I am still alive and why my body is now changing. This healing ability can be harvested even though it is detrimental to the host," she explained tearing the light gray tank top from top to bottom planing on fastening it after her body changed. "If enough is harvested and given to Morali then well.......," she said slipping the neck back over her head before she reached back undoing her bra folding it in with her jacket. "He would be able to regrow the damaged tissues," she said undoing her pants slipping them down just enough to allow her tail to grow unrestrained by the clothing. Turning around she grabbed the hypospray as her arm crossed over her chest. Pressing it a little to the inside of the her shoulder blade before pushing the button to draw the fluid out. As it did she couldn't hide the pain that washed over her features. When she pulled it back clear container would hold a milky white fluid.

"So this only allows one question that remains to be answered," she said as her free hand reached in pulling out one of the back molars that was in truth a false tooth. The inside held a concentrate of her original pure DNA. More then enough to turn her back to what she was originally. "Do you want to call someone else or would you rather see this alone?"


Sorry about the length Lucan *smiles*

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #14
She may have thanked him and told him her name, yet Dr. Nicander was not entirely at ease with the situation. Too many unknown variables. Too many potential outcomes. Too little control over the situation. While a mystery was thrilling and inspiring, it was with great caution that he observed and listened to 'Cardamone' - which was what she apparently called herself - when she told him that he might want to call the Captain and Security... and that she would have to remove her uniform.

If it had not been for the readings he had seen on his tricorder, Lucan would have thought the Petty Officer was merely making things up in trying to seduce him, like many men and women aboard had tried to do over the years. Luring him into his office, asking for privacy, and then describing some rare ailment that the "patient" wanted him to take a closer look at. At times, when it fit his needs in his grand scheme, he had obliged them. Yet Lucan was taking this quite seriously, and he merely nodded since she was already telling him more things about herself.

It occurred to him, when she told him she was on a mission to learn more about the Federation, that he was in a First Contact scenario. He had not truly had the experience before, thoroughly known as most species were to Starfleet Medical. It was quite unusual too, baring herself as she were to him - her fair skin almost glowing in the cold light of his office. He remained standing as she put her clothes aside and spoke, and she seemed content with his silence; at ease with his doctor's professionalism in regard to her shedding her clothes before him. Yet he was also a man, and while he did not stare and he did not move a muscle in his face, she was quite easy to rest his pale eyes upon.

As for the healing she spoke of, he noticed the evidence; her lack of wounds upon her body despite the amount of blood. Lucan found it curious, since the evidence of a phaser burn was quite clear upon the uniform she had put aside. That such an ability could be harvested peaked his interest further, and yet his medical diagnosis remained - based on what little he knew just yet - that it could still not be enough for Sarresh, strictly based on the amount of damage done to him. It depended on how adaptable the alien's ability was to other DNA, and the required amount of treatments. Cursory thought, hard to hold on to when she hooked her thumbs behind the hem of her uniform trousers and pushed them down along with her panties - baring the top half of her splendid posterior to him.

The question came then, as to if it would benefit the situation to have someone else present, and Lucan glanced towards the hypospray and the things she had taken out of her mouth.

"I'm not entirely sure," he said earnestly, yet he thought there was some practical inconvenience in asking Dr. Duv or his dear Eve to join him. He could not fully count on Duv's discretion, unsure on her reaction towards a First Contact scenario and the delicate diplomacy involved. Then again, she still might refrain from calling security straight away, not alerting the whole Sickbay that there was an unknown alien - different from the enemy - that had infiltrated their ranks. As to Eve, he knew he could count on her, yet given the fact that she had been jealous down on Theta Eridani IV, he was not sure he wanted her to find him with a half-naked woman in his office. Odd, how he would care...

"I do not know if they might panic," he said after a couple of seconds, folding his arms across his chest - eyes keen on the alien in his office, "so to avoid that, please, go ahead and show me what you truly are."

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #15
His silence was welcome as she was nervous enough about the whole situation. While it could go wrong for them should she prove to be aggressive it could go just as wrong for her. She was alone, the only one of her kind left in Starfleet and if she needed help she wouldn't be able to send for it. Truly she was at the mercy that these people where as they seemed to be. If he had not been a doctor she wouldn't have shed her clothing as she where. Even if it was needed to make room for the growth of limbs that would be coming. Something she was not looking forward to.

She nodded her head softly as he said that he didn't know if they might panic. She could understand that it would be stressful for anyone being thrust into a First contact situation. More so this crew given that they where now fighting against an unknown alien force. Turning the tooth over in her fingers she gently pressed against the bottom sliding the a thin cover back revealing a small amount of incandescent white fluid. Slowly she lowered the hypospray down hearing the familiar hissing sound before she shook it softly making sure the two fluids mixed. "Alright," she said taking a small breath having dreaded the arrival of this moment. As best as she could with her pants slightly lowered she walked to the center of his office knowing she would need as much room as she could get. Lowering her arm to hold the bottom of her tore tank top against her body wanting to keep it in place she slowly brought the hypospray up to her neck finding the jugular vein before slowly pressing the button to release the fluid. As soon as the mixture entered her body she could feel the sharp stinging burning feeling rushing through her body. The more that flooded into her body the more it hurt as it ran along her veins and nerve endings triggering a change that couldn't be stopped now. As the last flooded into her body she knew it was too late to stop. The hypospray slowly slipped from her hand hitting the ground as she waited for what was to come.

Come it did flooding through her body feeling like everything was being consumed by white hot flames. As it hit her square in the stomach her arms crossed over her waist as she doubled over whimpering softly. She could feel internal organs being rearranged and changed close to what they had been. The sharp pain twisted in her stomach as she leaned over a little more the space between her shoulders bulging slightly as the Velsren sac flooded with fluid. Her breathing came out in long heavy labored breaths as she felt her body changing. Fingernails slowly slipped back into her body being reabsorbed before her fingers took on a slightly more pointed appearance with the lack of normal nail covering. Her ears finished their half transformation turning more pointed looking almost Vulcan in nature. Above them horns slowly grew out drenched in incandescent white blood. Still she knew the worse was yet to come. Sinking slowly to her knees as took a deep breath preparing her mind for the pain that was about to come.

A few seconds passed and she wondered if it was over as she continued breathing raggedly. Just as quickly the pain enveloped her small body as she sunk to her knees leaning over rocking softly. Before this point she had managed only to let out small whimpers or gasps but this was far different. Clenching her teethe she growled out in pain. Leaning forward her forehead rested against the floor as she tried to force the change knowing as soon as it was done the pain would stop. Slowly the pale skin around her backbone just above the start of her cheeks started to change slowly growing a five foot long black scaled tail that slowly moved back and forth seemingly enjoying the freedom. Curling up the skin over her shoulders stretched slightly as though something where trying to free itself. Gritting her teethe she screamed as large bat like wing suddenly ripped forth with a loud snap of leathery material snapping to a taught position. Just as quickly as it started the pain ended as she let out a small breath. With shaky legs she stood feeling the comfort from being in her true form. Any injuries healed quickly as she she slowly pulled her pants up as much as she could. She looked back to Doctor Nicander her tail waving back and forth slightly. "Now you see what I was changing into," she said feeling better. Everything was heightened and she could hear and smell more then before. "So Doctor what will you do now?"

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #16
Standing back, Dr. Nicander watched the change. He had expected... something. He did not know what. He had no idea what the alien's true form was, so anything could have happened. The impulse was to aide her, somehow, yet at the same time, he knew that he might hurt the woman more, or even hurt himself. She was in pain, which was quite clear, and bleeding - white blood running from her head. An odd sense of empathy came to him, which was even more strange because of the thing inside him making him aroused by the morbid display... the cries of pain.

All he could do was to step a bit closer and scan the progress with his medical tricorder, monitoring her lifesigns and making sure there was in no danger. The readings were all over the chart, however, and hard to make sense of. If the flood of biological chemicals that coursed though the alien had afflicted a human, it was not likely to survive. It was like a healing progress where the body devoured its depots in seconds, eating up fat and water deposits in order to regenerate body tissue. Yet there was no greater signs of this happening. Rather, an unknown substance coursed through the body from a previously dormant and invisible area - supposedly this 'Velsren' sac she had spoken of. This substance was the building stones that pumped through the alien's body and rebuilt its former frame.

On his tricorder, Lucan could see the substance amass in her lower back before... a tail sprung forth, swinging - already connected to her nervous system. Already part of her. Motor functions instant with the sudden extension of the spine. Then the back, the skin and scars shifting with the pooling of the substance... then they ripped free. He stepped back at this point with the sudden development.

"By the winds..." he said and ran a tattooed hand over his astonished features, clearing his eyes and brushing out the translucent liquid over his tanned countenance. The alien stood up, and Lucan checked the tricorder again. Judging by the lessing activity, the readings he was looking at were stabilizing, the parameters evidently adherent to her true form. While her skin was not exactly human, she appeared much akin to them, making it evident why a human facade had been chosen. Yet the true form did not only have pointed ears and fingers. It had also the horns, consisting of a covering of keratin and other proteins surrounding a core of live bone. And lastly, the prehensile tail. How these aliens accomplished this through cosmetic surgery and genetic engineering was beyond him.

The key... must have been that chemical compound they stored in their bodies.

When she asked him what he would do, Lucan closed his tricorder, setting the two pieces together with a click. First contact... There were old and modern procedures both to adhere to. In the SETI-protocol, it was suggested that it would be scientists who made contact and - of a sort - this had been fulfilled. More recent protocols in Starfleet added the requirement that the Commanding Officer needed to be present. Yet the extenuating circumstances here were that this alien had offered help to treat a critically injured patient. A patient who was critical to the mission. Ironic, how Lucan would use the excuse of the skin-puppets' mission of thwarting him and his kin, thus excusing him for gathering more information before he contacted Captain Ives and Security.

"Normally, I would do as you suggested," he said, slowly walking over to the console and viewscreen covering the back wall of his office. He inserted his tricorder into a docking station upon the table, and the screen lit up with a detailed anatomical image of Cardamone. He ran his indexfinger along a touch panel, and the image shifted to display different layers and circulatory networks in her body. "Yet I have a patient to treat, and if you are willing to assist me, it would be disrespectful to not observe your wishes. I am sure you understand the grave import of this undertaking given the fact that you chose to reveal yourself for the purpose of giving this aid to us."

Turning towards her again, with the digital image of Cardamone's bare body behind his shoulder, Lucan folded his arms across his chest, one hand brushing his own jaw in thought as he looked at her. "I would like to ask some questions first," he said in his deep voice, pale eyes looking upon her new bodily features, "since it would probably take hours before I could ask them again if Security had its way. What is the name of your people? How long have you been exploring Federation space, and how many are you? Where is your home planet, and how far have you travelled?"

His next set of questions were purely medical. "If we are to extract the fluid from your Velsren sac to treat Sarresh Morali, how do we cultivate the fluid? How do we refine it so that it can restore other DNA than your own? Which kind of DNA would it be able to treat? Are there any limitations in that regard? Also, how much are you willing to extract for us on an hourly basis to ensure Lieutenant Morali's swift recovery?"

Lastly, something else occurred to him as he looked upon her unique form. The beast whispered that it wanted to know what it was like to yank up that tail and... While intriguing, Lucan mentally shook of the notion.

"Is Cardamone your real name?"

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #17
Once the pain had died down in her mind she slowly looked over to the doctor seeing splatters of blood on his skin and uniform. Some part of her felt bad but another part figured it was what one got when getting close to a creature that was changing. "Sorry about the mess," she finally said softly after the realization of first contact in a manor rushed across his mind. She watched him closely as he walked over to the console watching as a detailed anatomical image of her body light up the viewscreen. The fact that she was bare on this image was more then enough to cause her already pale cheeks to turn whiter. Now that her blood was no longer red her cheeks would no longer turn pink but rather flush a whiter color. Slowly she walked closer to him her tail slowly waving back and forth with each step in fluid graceful movements. The first few steps where uncertain as her body readjusted to the new distribution of weight. "I am willing to assist and I do understand. I know more then anyone what this choice means but it was the one the fates decided for me. So I must assume it is for the best," Slowly she stopped a few feet from him her arms crossing over her stomach that felt like it hadn't had anything in it for a couple weeks. She knew though that it was just a result of the sudden transformation. "I am letting the genie out of the bottle as the human say is,"

She nodded her head softly as he stated he would like to ask questions first. She knew in the coming time there would be plenty of questions being asked of her and for the most part she would answer. There where only a few things she would not talk about. "Trust me I know how security is. I attend the academy and gained my rank honestly," she said not making it sound anything other then she was in the truest sense of the word still a Federation officer. Having gone threw everything they had. "We call ourselves  Asurian. Aside from that I will not answer any more questions about them. My people have survived by staying quite and staying hidden. I intent on protecting them until such a time as the Federation has passed this final test," she answered knowing her words would be cryptic at best. Still she wasn't going to expose them to people who could just as easily capture her people and use them as nothing more then vessels for to be harvested from. It had happened in the past and it could happen again. "All anyone from Starfleet need know is if they go looking for them they will not find them," she said knowing her people where well hidden. "You have me to be a willing test subject. Anything you need to know about them physically and culturally you learn from me and me alone,"

As the questions turned medical she relaxed her shoulders slouching slightly. This was what they wondered. How these people would react to their unique abilities. "It is actually surprisingly easy to cultivate. The fluid is a interesting mixture of high energy liquid and what we refer to as blank cells. They where designed to have no inherent DNA themselves. Rather when it is harvested and a valid DNA sample is introduced it takes on the characteristics of the hosts DNA stand. Hench how I was able to appear human. We gathered a valid human DNA sampling, I won't go into details as how. Altered the genetic pattern to a unique appearance and replicated by use of these blank cells. The Velsren sac was medical inhibited and the new DNA and along with the harvest fluid was introduced into my body giving it an almost perfect human appearance. There where a few things that had to be changed surgically and I assume the same will  be with Morali" she said her voice betraying a hint of sadness over something that had been lost to take on a human form. "If his DNA is one of the ones that is receptive to this all you would need to his harvest a sufficient amount mix a valid DNA sample and feed it through his body intravenously. The cells should start to divide and regrow the damaged parts as much as they can. I do suspect though that it will not be a complete regrowth. There maybe surgical steps needed,"

"We have found that it will not regrow dead tissue and the heart must be beating in order for it to work. There have been cases when it was need that whole limbs where regrown. If his DNA is compatible I don't see why it wouldn't restore him almost back to the state he was before," she said slowly stepping closer to the view screen. "We have human DNA to be very agreeable in being able to be replicated this way. To rest if his the same all you would need is a small sample of fluid about one cc and a small small sample of his DNA. Mix the two if they are compatible in a few minutes all you should be able to see is only his cells,"

Slowly her mind went to telling him how to extract enough to ensure Morali's swift recovery. A subject she didn't want to talk about. None of her people like talking about this. When she had gone through a harvesting process to know what it was like she had almost blacked out after the fourth bag was harvested. "The process to harvest has to be followed exactly in order to make sure you get what you need and I am able to recover from this," she said slowly turning away from him as she walked towards the frosted glass where she could only guess the body of Lieutenant Morali lay waiting for the procedure that could help him. "It can not be broken down into hourly amounts. It must be taken in a continual process. After one bag is collected and the process is stopped the Velsren sac has a habit to shutting down for a couple days. We have found the most efficient way is to provide the host with a continual feed of a high energy source such as glucose in a continual manor and a little after the harvesting is finished. This keeps the body from starting to cannibalize its self as an energy source. At the same time the fluid must be harvested. If there is a halt in the harvesting it will be about three to four days before we could try again," she spoke knowing her words where cold and analytical. But there was no other way to describe what the procedure was. It was a cold, cruel life giving procedure. "The only notable harm to the host is a shut down of production for a few days, a ravaging hunger afterwords, a bruise covering the area that was harvested from and the need to recover for a day or two afterwords,"

"I would recommend  at least five IV bags along with a small sample to be tested for compatibility," she said turned around resting her shoulders against the glass. In all the talk of cold hard facts and data the question of her real name caught her by surprise as she simply stared at him for a few moments. "No, Dyan Cardamone was derived from different cultural sources to help appear more human. My real name is Sar-unga Neleo," she said softly knowing they would have to get this started sooner rather then later. Turning around slowly she braced her hands against the wall bracing herself. "If you want to collect the sample for testing I would recommend right between the shoulder blades above the spine. Our skeletal structure is close enough you should be able to find it,"

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #18
The Chief Medical Officer listened to the answers in quietude, his face thoughtful. That she would not compromise the location and number of her kind was rather expected, yet to the beast inside, it was a source of great irritation - having wished to relay the coordinates to the rest of his kin somehow. In fact, finding the home planet, the fleet, or the dimension from whence these Asurian came would be made a high priority if they possessed such advanced medical technology that it could fool present-year Starfleet bio-scans, not to mention the obvious versatility of their Velsren sac. In fact, there were many planets where they could hide an underground breeding colony and an adjacent laboratory.

Lucan, however, was far more focused on the present situation, digesting the sequence that the Asurian described in regard to treating Sarresh Morali. He thought he got the idea, and could even chalk up a treatment plan in his head. The problem was rather if he wanted Sarresh to survive. In the end, it boiled down to a choice based on the Ash'reem's abilities. He could foresee two options.

If Ash'reem DNA was receptive to the blank cells, then Lucan would have to ensure that he died on the operating table. If the fluid from the Velsren sac needed a beating heart, then it would have to cease beating and that would be the end of it. It would be easy to arrange given the fact that Lieutenant Morali was already on the brink of death. Lucan could not afford any Ash'reem aboard if he wanted to remain hidden in the open. His secret in Surgical Suite 02 needed to be preserved.

If Ash'reem DNA wasn't compatible, then they would have to do it the hard way. He would let the Temporal Affairs Officer live, only as human - like the Petty Officer had posed as up until that point. The fact that Sarresh was restored to life, albeit lacking the Ash'reem abilities that Lucan feared might compromise him, would serve to further elevate himself from any suspicion. Oddly enough, the notion to have Sarresh die anyway did not become the obvious solution... making the Beast snarl inside Lucan's mind. Why would I show mercy? It was too confusing to sort out whilst listening to the ravishing alien right there in front of him.

Then she told him her real name. "Sar-unga," he repeated quietly while she stepped away from him and lay her hands against the frosted glass. Offering both to extract a sample from between her shoulder blades and the sight of her back to him - shown through the cut tank top and her low-riding uniform trousers. It was not hard to imagine what the voice in his mind had suggested before; slamming her face against the glass and yanking up the base of her tail with his other hand. He could even use the white blood pooled there as lubricant - forcing himself inside her. The security surveillance was still offline, and the strength of his kin would enable him. Blinking, he realised that even the thought had given him a rigid erection.

Fortunately, she had her back towards him, and he looked away to pick up the hypospray she had left on the table and switched it to an empty chamber.

"With the tricorder image I got, I think I know where to tap you," he said, unable to help himself from the private joke. His tone and air of professionalism was likely to cover up the double meaning anyway. He stepped up close behind her, careful to not step on her tail. Setting his feet on either side of it, he began to lightly run his fingers up and down her spine to count the vertebrae. His low voice reverberated in his chest. "If we are to do this procedure you suggest, I will be concerned about your physical comfort in such a drawn out process. A spinal tap - for any species - is an excruciatingly painful process. Is there any way to make it more comfortable for you?"

Finding the spot, he lay the cold muzzle of the hypospray against her pale skin, and sharp hiss signalled the extraction.

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #19
"I am glad you do I would hate for you to miss and hit something you weren't suppose to," she spoke softly not knowing his words and hers had a double meaning to them at least in his mind. She could almost feel his presence behind her making her small frame tense slightly. She was thankful he was mindful not to step on her tail as she knew that most people would not be as considerate. The tip of her tail softly moved back and forth between his legs every so often brushing against one ankle or another. Every so often it would lightly flick up brushing against the lower part of his leg. The only time an  Asurian's tail was at rest it seemed was when they where not conscious. As he began to lightly run his fingers up and down her spine her pale skin would develop goosebumps from the touch. Her breathing growing slightly more shallow and just a little faster. Off to the left side of her spine just to back side of her heart would be a long scar that looked old and when it had been new would have been considered life threatening. The tips of her ears twitched softly hearing his low voice reverberating in his chest.

"I really do appreciate your concern about my physical comfort," she spoke softly as she looked over her shoulder at him a few locks of white hair falling in front of her green eyes. "But even my people have not found a way to make it anything but painful," she spoke dropping her voice to a soft whisper seeing how close they where. "You don't need to worry about me though, it was part of the requirement of going on this mission to go through this procedure several times. The amount I recommend would be easily within what I had managed before," she spoke as a small shiver ran through her body as his fingers brushed a sensitive spot on her back. "The problem is when the fluid is being harvested our metabolism is so high it burns through any type of pain medication," Once more her pale cheeks would pale a little more as her head turned away from him. "The only was to make it more comfortable if it worked is a bit too personal and would require too much time," she managed to get the words out seconds before she heard the sharp hiss and felt the stabbing pain shot through her body almost robbing her of her breath. As much as she fought it her whole body tensed as her closed her eyes. A long deep growl slipped out of her lips as her tail waved back and forth a little more violently. When it was over her body slowly relaxed as she breathed out slowly and raggedly.

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #20
For someone like Lucan, who had spent his life reading people and exploiting their emotions to his advantages, the small signs that the Asurian displayed of her own rousedness was all too plain to see - his fingertips touching her skin clearly affecting her. The thing inside shrieked for him to ravage her, drop the pretence and be the first to enjoy her restored body. He would slide his hands into the opening at the back of her tanktop, run his hands up to cup her breasts from beneath with his fingers. It would be so easy. She might even enjoy it; agree to his needs. Alas, if he did, medical staff that passed through might see more than just the shadow of her hands against the frosted glass - the front of her body and the side of her face smothered against it while they indulged in inter-species copulation.

No, he thought and subdued the notion. The situation was entirely based on the trust that this Sar-unga had for him, and she would only have come forth if she meant to help treating Lieutenant Morali. If she thought him some lecherous primate in a lab coat, she would not trust him, and she might divert her offer of assistance to Dr. Duv instead, leaving Lucan unable to control the outcome of the treatment. No, the images that flashed before Lucan's eyes may have been tempting, yet as always, Lucan had to suppress the notions of the beast - harder as it had become over time.

Even more difficult would it be next, when the Asurian reacted to the extraction of fluid from her Velsren sac. Her tail lashed upon his calves in imagined encouragement. The sounds she made almost caused the parasite to assume control. Lucan ground his teeth together and gripped the hypospray almost hard enough to break it - fist shaking from the effort to keep his mind his own. If he lost control, there was no telling what might happen. No. He knew. The parasite liked to fully test the limits of the Velsren sac in the act, craved to amuse itself by copulating with her dismembered torso upon the floor. Below them, a painting of white blood drawn upon the canvas of the deck plates.

With exceeding difficulty, Lucan blinked away the graphic details in his mind and managed to keep his voice perfectly sane when he spoke. "I understand," he said quietly, no daring to step away lest she would see his condition. He bought the time he needed by inspecting the area that he had tapped the fluid from, brushing his palm across it slowly as if to soothe any irritation upon the skin, even if the pain was attributed to the area beneath it. "If there is no time, and if the means to reduce the agony for you would make you uncomfortable, I hope that Sarresh Morali will come to appreciate the sacrifice you make for his treatment. I know this must be difficult for you, and let me be the first to thank you, for reveal yourself for the sake of our mission and our survival when we next face the Calamity."

Then he stepped away from her, turning his back and going to the desk that held the medical tricorder he had previously scanned her with. He inserted the hypospray into another slot, and the chemical layout of the fluid appeared on the screen instead of Sar-Unga's digital image. "I need to collect a sample of Sarresh's DNA to verify that its compatible, but first, I think it is due time I contact two other doctors that will be involved in his treatment."

Turning to her, heart beating more slowly and the beast calm, he put his tattooed hands on his hips. "Would you be willing to let two more doctors enter this office and see you? I need their aide, explain everything, and settle how the treatment will proceed before I report this to Captain Ives. I think it would reflect well upon your presence aboard that we have certified exactly how you will be assisting the mission; how successful the treatment might be with the use of your species' unique abilities."

His words were considerate, kind, and he tried to reassure her. "I will vouch for you, try to make everyone see the merit in your actions today, and point towards your people's virtues so far - revealing yourselves as benevolent beings that hold the Federation's best interest at heart in this time of crisis. It is the least I can do."

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #21
As he pulled away the hypospray her growl would slowly die down as would the lashing of her tail. Her breathing was still slightly ragged as the pain took time to subside. Where he had drew the fluid would swell slightly before turning a nasty shade of red, just as quickly the red turned to a nasty looking bruise. Just as quickly though it would fade back to its normal pale smoothness looking as though nothing had happened. His palm brushing across it slowly would once more cause her skin to develop goosebumps. His words though where more then enough to cause her to look over her shoulder once more trying to look into those pale gray eyes. "I've been through worse," she whispered softly knowing she had in fact. Laying half dead on the side of a frozen waste land while her body slowly devoured her tail to produce the liquid to keep her alive. What remained for her brother laying a few feet away. "You are welcome but I am not doing this for the Federation, this mission or Sarresh Morali. I am doing this for my people. They have just as much invested in this ships success as they do," she spoke slowly standing feeling only the lingering soreness she knew would only get worse when they started harvesting.

Her hands slowly reached up gently rubbing her lower back before she turned around walking a little farther into his office. She watched as he inserted the hypospray almost thankful when a chemical layout appeared on the screen instead of her body. When he spoke of contacting two other doctors she would once more focus her eyes on him even if it wasn't a hard thing to do. "Now that I have reverted back to this form I am stuck in it I don't see staying in your office for the rest of my time here," she spoke forming a slight smile on her lips. "I don't mind if others come in and see me. I know it is something that will happen eventually. Captain Ives she wasn't as sure about. True she couldn't spend the rest of her time in his office but if the captain ordered she could just as easily end up in a holding cell near that damn woman. "Bring in who ever you need but," she said her ears lowering slightly as she though over how to say and ask what was on her mind.

"Considering everything these people have been threw with an unknown alien invader could you please make it clear to them I not like that. I don't want my kind seen in that light," she spoke taking a seat hearing his next words that pulled a slightly fuller smile to her lips. "I do appreciate your help Doctor Nicander and it is more then welcome. While you and the others are talking and examining do you think it would be possible to get a little something to eat? With everything that has happened today I have expended more energy then normal. If not I do understand," she said trying to calm her mind and heartbeat at meeting more in her true form. Some part of her wondered how the people on this ship would react. She knew at least two where didn't seem to have a problem with what she was.

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #22
The Asurian might have said that she only had the interests of her own people at heart, but their interests were definitely aligned with the valiant fools of the Theurgy and the Harbinger. This was of no surprise for Dr. Nicander, and equally expected - and of non-importance - as the request for food given what the Asurian had been through. All their hopes were in vain.

"Of course," said Lucan, not about to let her starve if she was to undergo an extended medical procedure that did not require her to have an empty stomach beforehand. "I have a replicator right there so please get anything you like. You can sit and eat by my desk if you'd like to."

Lucan walked up to the image of the Velsren sac's blank cells and considered all the options that had suddenly become available. His thoughts went to his ambitions concerning his people. To his kin's endeavours and lastly to the thing he was breeding aboard, and what growth would be made possible with this kind of substance. Finally, he raised his tattooed hand to his combadge.

"Dr. Nicander to Dr. Duv and Jenkins," he said, not giving too much information to them about their new passenger over com signal. "Would you please meet me in my office. We have to settle on our report to Captain Ives about patient Sarresh Morali."

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #23
First and foremost she was here to ensure her people would be for the better when this whole situation was resolved. Even if it meant leaving the Federation to its seemingly unavoidable fate. Still she personally wanted them to succeed. When he agreed to a meal she couldn't help but smile knowing her body needed the fuel. It seemed he no sooner mentioned the replicator then she was already on her way towards it. "Thank you," she spoke as one hand came to rest on the wall beside the replicator as the thought over what she should order. She knew she needed food and lots of it. Some part of her told her not to worry about eating since what ever wouldn't be absorbed to replace the already lost energy would be gone by the time they started the procedure.

"Beef tips, two pieces of grilled salmon, four hard boiled eggs, two cups coffee hot with cream and sugar, and three bananas," she said knowing for anyone it would be a lot of food but with her metabolism heightened as it was most of it would be burned off as soon as she ate it.  Everything she ordered where all high energy foods and would help provide her body with what she needed. She watched with pure anticipation as the replicator produced the food she had ordered. She didn't wait to get back to the desk as she quickly downed one of the eggs before gathering the plates and cups carefully carrying them back to the desk.

Taking her seat she quickly started eating as the hunger quickly started taking control and she ate and ate her body absorbing the food at a rapid pace. Her head only rose slightly as she listened to him requesting the presence of Dr. Duv and Jenkins. Half way through the meal she felt her body growing stronger as the lost energy was quickly being replenished. From the way she ate though it was clear she wasn't close to slowing down.

Re: PROLOGUE: Supplementary [ Sickbay ]

Reply #24
Amelia Duv just stabilised her last critical patient when the combadge chirped and she heard Lucan's message. She closed up the last wounds of the injured red shirt and than tapped her badge "I'll be there in a few minutes, just need to wrap this up here." she said on a calm tone. She asked the nurse that was helping her if there were any more critical patients in this section of the bay. The nurse shook her had and Amelia left some safeguards in place when they had to call her if any of their situations would deteriorate.

She than walked over to a small basin to rinse her hands off before she made her way to the main sickbay area. She looked around to see how busy it was here, yet the nurses seemed to manage all by all. She made her way to the office of the CMO. She was still undecided about the fate of the Ash'reem, certain possibilities would be too far fetched to work and the damage done by the corrosive components were hard to asses. She tapped the button at the door to slide it open and she frowned a bit to see the security officer she recognised from Harbinger eating like a famished soldier. "Doctor Nicander... You called us for the situation of Sarresh?" she asked now slowly while her eyes went over Dyan and than to Lucan.

Her brain seemed to be lagging behind by just a few seconds as she realised this wasn't the same Dyan that she knew on Harbinger, that this creature was different than the human Dyan. "Petty Officer Cardamone is it not?" She asked Dyan now with a hesitating voice, yet she remained by the door that now shut close behind her. "Feel free to explain what is going on here." She said eventually as she wasn't coming up with any real or viable explanation to why she was here or what she was in her true form. Her eyes went back to the white haired girl as she kept eating rapidly and the last pieces of her menu got devoured.

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