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EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

[ Deck 01 | Conference Lounge ]

It took some time for the agents and medical personnel of the USS Relativity to subdue the outbreak on board the Theurgy, but eventually, a modicum of order was restored.

As it turned out, the new arrivals had indeed come from the future. Captain Ducane had ordered all the Starfleet personnel stranded on Niga beamed up to the Relativity and had boarded the damaged Theurgy-class starship with the primary goal to subdue the outbreak and administer the cure to everyone that showed readings of infection. The Theurgy's shield-harmonics had easily - for them - been obtained before arrival, so the mission had been swiftly executed right from the time the USS Relativity arrived from an - by them opened and sealed - temporal rift in the Mahéwa System.

The undertaking had been successful, and not only had the cure lifted the plague of the parasitic virus, but it seemed there was an unknown side-effect to the antidote that appeared after a few hours. It affected the memories of the victims during the time which they were infected. Even the pollinated state, where there brain had a minor degree of affliction from the virus, was less clearly remembered by the crew of the Theurgy. During the state of full infection, where many of the crew had committed atrocious acts, events were remembered quite vaguely, as if in a hazy dream, and it served to help the - at first - highly traumatised crew.

Dr. Lucan cin Nicander explained during the Senior Staff meeting - in not so crude terms - that since the virus had its unique psychological capabilities, the result that the cure had was highly unique as well - effecting the brain to the same extent that the virus has since the antidote had been based on the same chemical compound. In any case, it did serve to make the life easier for the Chief Counsellor and the ships Rehabilitation Officers during those first couple of days after the incident.

After initial examinations, they were all relieved to discover that no one had actually been impregnated. Apparently, the virus was only concerned about the creation of alien life, not human life. This temporal impotency would only leave the crew barren for a few months, while the physical attributes of the virus subsided in a couple of days.

Moreover, a formal edict had been spoken by Captain Ives over the intercom all over the ship, where s/he clearly stated - under no uncertain terms and conditions - for the sake of their primary mission - that no one of the crew would be held responsible for the actions he, she or they had committed while under the influence of the alien virus. Nor would the actions of those pollinated be regarded as crimes or the aggressors held responsible for the - betimes - fatal outcome of their acts. In fact, with the help of the residual effect of the antidote, s/he encouraged his/her crew to try and bridge their minds from the trauma to the best of their abilities and not seek to challenge the fellow crew members whom might have wronged them. All aggressions or offences of such nature was to be considered grave defilements upon ship safety in the eyes of Security, and handled accordingly. If in doubt, it was encouraged to speak to one's closest superior officer.

The only one that ended up in the Brig was Cadet Amikris Noetin, whom with the support of her parents refused to be inoculated with the antidote. She was kept in the Brig for the sake of the ship's safety with extra precautions taken to keep all her abilities from affecting anyone else, and she was given all the comforts provided for her to spend her time in her cell. The reason for the Ash'reem's standpoint in the matter was on the agenda for the Senior Staff meeting, and would be formally addressed there. This discussion would also determine the fate of the planet below, and the drastic measures to be taken to prevent another ship from spreading the virus.

When the Senior Staff meeting was held, four days had passed, and the timeship remained hidden in the Mahéwa System together with the Theurgy. In fact, they still remained in orbit of Niga since with the threat known, the M-Class planet did serve its original purpose. Extreme precautions were taken, yet deuterium could nevertheless be harvested, and repairs (now even more needed than upon their arrival to Niga) could proceed. There was great merit also in the amount of work that all the departments put in - keeping their mind of the past couple of days.

Many people were severely injured and too many were so to an extent that Dr. Nicander had to place them in stasis in wait for a time where they could be taken to a proper starbase infirmary and get the medical environments and specialists in the individual fields that they needed. Some of the injured might still not make it, he informed the gathered Senior Staff.

"Yet as long as there is life, there is hope," he said, his tattooed hands folded upon the large table in front of him.

The highest ranking of those fatally injured were obviously the XO as well as the Chief Engineer. Also the newly promoted Chief CONN Officer had to be put in Stasis, and the SCO had nearly bled out his life on the Main Bridge, and to prevent brain injury, Dr. Nicander had also placed him in stasis. Blood transfusions might have aided the SCO, yet there was great risk that it was already too late and such would have to be done in a safer way with more doctors present, and thus the CMO judged it safer for the comatose alpha-leader of the Lone Wolves to join the others in stasis. If nothing else, to let him get the proper training and prosthetics for his missing leg.

After the Chief Medical Officer had reported in full, the female form of Jien Ives looked towards the other Captain in the room - the Relativity's Commanding Officer - seated in the chair that Nerina had occupied before the arrival to Niga. The events that led to Nerina's injury was blurry in her mind, even though she knew perfectly well that she had been present by the time of her First Officer's devastating fall from the railing in Stellar Cartography - where she had suffered a neck broken in two places.

"Captain Ducane," she said quietly where she sat with her fingers folded underneath her eyes, "how much can you tell us without violating the Temporal Prime Directive about what led you to undergo a mission to alter time in order to save us? I think everyone present are interested to know how a volatile virus like this has not been dealt with earlier. We are not too far out in the fringes of the Alpha Quadrant after all." Jien already knew, having spoken at length with Captain Ducane in her Ready Room. This was for the benefit of the Senior Staff, and it had taken some persuasion to keep Captain Ducane from leaving for the 29th century. The winning argument had been that the Relativity would arrive on time regardless for the debriefing.

"Yes, Captain," said Ducane and rose to his feet, a grey-haired man in his late sixties with a receding hairline. As he began to explain, he walked around the table. Present, besides the core Senior Staff were: both the Ash'reem parents instead of just one of them; Lt. Lin Kae of Engineering, Ensign Carver and Junior Lieutenant Isley from the Lone Wolves, whom had all been summoned since their names were upon the agenda as well; Deputy ThanIda zh'Wann and the bandaged Junior Lieutenant Adam Kingston whom were posted as Security during the meeting since the Relativity had two Temporal Agents to accompany their Captain as well. This was not because of mistrust, but of decorum.

Captain Ducane said that the Theurgy had eventually arrived at Earth. The infected crew had beamed themselves down and promptly begun to have infect everyone they could. It soon became a global epidemic - a plague that gradually spread to other solar systems and beyond the Alpha Quadrant. Within seven years, all civilization seemed to be on the verge of extinction.

Fortunately, a team of Andorian scientists had managed to seclude themselves on a remote science laboratory. There, they scavenged any records they could find of the early events of the galactic epidemic. They had pieced together an old version of the Federation Database and in it, it would find the stored data from the USS Theurgy. And within this patchwork data, they had managed to come across a single Private Log that had enlightened them about the origin of the virus, as well as the other contents - like the conspiracy in Starfleet Command and the antidote that the Chief Medical Officer had encrypted. Both the Log and the formula was accessible to them since they were not infected, and they did all they could: sending the vital information as far and frequently as they possibly could. Sub-space messages went everywhere in the hopes of others learning how to deal with the epidemic.

The messages had, however, been the downfall for the scientists, whom were found and infected as well. However, the message had been picked up.

"...by one of my Temporal Agents aboard, when surveying the time-stream. We were a bit... lost before then, stranded in a time before the alternative universe that the epidemic had caused. The Federation and the enforcement of the Temporal Accord in the 29th century had ceased to exist, leaving us without a future to return to," said Ducane as he paced around the table, "We were previously posted, by fortunate happen-stance, in a time before the epidemic. We now know that a certain temporal incursion changed the evolution of the planet Niga below us. An incursion made several millennia ago which made the Niga we know now replace the real planet seven days and five hours ago. Temporally contained with 29th century technology, the epidemic was to go off like a bomb in this time and wipe out most of known civilisation in the entire galaxy."

Jien Ives spoke up now, eyes unblinking and fingers still laced underneath her eyes. "A temporal incursion that was directed against us specifically, by someone who knew that we had fled here, and meant to use us as a vector since our ship was damaged and would provide the best chances of the outbreak to take hold given that our environmental systems were down. Would you be so kind as to enlighten my crew about why you did not come here sooner?"

"Certainly," said Ducane and while he did not sigh, he was not too happy about giving lectures either. Especially about things he saw as routine for his line of business. "We cannot pinpoint the exact time of the incursion made at Niga millennia ago, and we did not come here sooner since a pre-emptive incursion might have constituted a Pogo paradox, in which interference to prevent an event actually triggers the same event. In plain words, we could not risk coming here before Lieutenant Commander Edena Rez recorded her Private Log."

Jien was silent for a few seconds, her eyes drifting to the present Intelligence Officer before addressing Ducane again. "And you have found no leads on whom instigated this; who would merit from genetically altering the flora on Niga and breed this virus exclusively for this century? The primary suspects would be a species immune to viral deceases and have an affinity for botanical sciences."

"We have a number of suspects amongst the factions in the Temporal Cold War," said Captain Ducane, standing on the far side of the long table as he answered Captain Ives' question. Of course the Directive would stop him from answering that question. "Unless we return to our time, we cannot make further inquiries."

The timeship's Captain addressed the whole gathering next. "Speaking of which, the Relativity must leave soon. Please understand that we have been voyaging the centuries before his day for the last two years - looking for the intel that my agent needed to locate this place and time. By the way, the fireworks of the Warp Core that detonated served to make a good imprint in the time-stream, helping us get here."

Jien made no comment where she sat, not giving one whit about the loss of her Yacht.

"Anyway, your Captain has asked me to stay so that I may answer your questions to the best of my ability." Ducane corrected himself with good manners, spreading his hands where he stood. "Or rather, as much as I am permitted to... So please, go ahead."



OOC: If your character(s) don't have any questions, send me a PM to me so that I know if I should expect a post or not before moving on. :)

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #1
[Nathan Isley]

The timely arrival of temporal agents from the 29th Century had been a saving grace.  With life support down on the shuttle, they were beamed directly from the shuttle to the ship, the uninfected separated from the infected while the future Starfleet officers worked to cure the virus once and for all.  At long last, there was room to breathe, and in that moment, Isley slumped against a wall and laid his head back, relief finally coming over him.  In the aftermath, he made himself useful with repairs to the Valkyries.  he might not have been an engineer, but pilots knew their systems well enough, and the technicians on board already had their hands full with ship-wide repairs.  The dilithium they mined from the planet, now well aware of it's dangers, proved useful in replicating the resources they needed to fix several key systems.

By the time of the senior staff meeting, everyone had surely heard enough about the infection, but there were final matters to be dealt with.  He didn't fully understand why he was there, but he imagined it was to serve the same purpose he had the last time, acting as a representative of the Lone Wolves, in place of the injured and disabled SCO.  When the time came for questions, he certainly wasn't about to pass up on the opportunity to find out what he could from someone who knew history.  "How exactly does it work?  I mean, I get that you're from some alternate timeline, but how do you keep track of how things change when the past is altered?"



[Edena Rez]

The former Starfleet Intelligence Officer was surprised to find out how crucial her personal log had been to their survival.  She had hoped it would save lives one day, and from what Ducane told them, it had done enough to affect the future drastically.  Not bad for a last grasp at straws from the young Trill.  Like most everyone else, she was interested in the Senior Staff meeting, to have a face-to-face conversation with the Starfleet of the 29th century.  When Isley asked his question, however, it was Rez that disclosed some information.

"They track Temporal Incursions, signs that time travel was used.  Like we track particle wakes left behind by ship's engines, they can see when and where a ship has travelled through time, and follow it to undo any changes made to the timeline.  Instruments aboard their ship can track the amount of incursion, allowing them to restore it as much as possible."  It was likely knowledge she was not expected to have.  "Starfleet Intelligence has access to logs kept by officers who have witnessed encounters with Temporal Agents.  If I reveal this, it's not technically a violation of the Temporal Prime Directive, as I am native to this timeline, and I did promise Captain Ives full disclosure.  It's my belief that if we are being targeted by someone with the ability to alter the timeline, the Senior Staff should be as informed as they can be about Temporal Incursions.  A more important question to ask if whether we will see another incident like this, and if we will be able to rely on assistance from the Relativity in the future.  I imagine that simply revealing yourselves to us must be leaving a Temporal Incursion of it's own, even if it's far less severe then the infection."



[Lin Kae]

Kae had joined in on the repair efforts throughout the ship.  His central work involved fixed the damage to the holo-grid, and then joining with a small team tasked with constructing a new warp core for the Captain's Yacht.  It was a chance for him to show off a bit of the knowledge he had acquired working with fringe technology during his time aboard Starbases, as he put forth enough creative input to be placed in charge of the team, and designed a warp core of equal ability to the old one, but with improvements to efficiency, as well as weight and size.  The final result was a core ten percent smaller, running three percent above original specifications.  Sadly, he was called to the Senior Staff meeting before having a chance to see it's installation.  Oh well, the others could handle that much without him.

At the meeting, the talk of time travel lit his eyes up more then would have been expected from a Lieutenant.  There was just no hiding his excitement at the idea that Starfleet would one day travel through time the same way they currently travelled through space.  The only disappointment was that he wouldn't live long enough to see it.  "Is there anything we can do to protect ourselves from these Temporal Incursions?  I mean, if they find us a threat, what's to stop them from travelling back and blowing this ship away with technology beyond our ability?  Or even from destroying the ship before it ever leaves drydock?"

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #2
David Grayson listened to Captains Ives and Ducane quietly, soaking in all of the information that the two were providing. He'd been rather quiet ever since he'd been cured, in fact; while he couldn't completely remember everything he'd experienced while he was infected, just the knowledge that he had been subject to such base instincts unnerved him. David prided himself on his mastery over himself, his ability to always remain under control of his faculties no matter the circumstances. That his loss of control was caused by an alien virus did little to assuage his discomfort. He did not like having control taken from him, no matter how or why it happened.

"With all due respect, Captain Ducane...while I have no doubt in the abilities of yourself and your crew, how are we to know that you aren't the ones orchestrating events? You may be Starfleet, but you're from a Starfleet that's likely very different from our own." David shrugged. "I don't mean to accuse you of lying, but once the Relativity returns to its native time, there's no way for us to know what exactly you're doing in the twenty-ninth century. I'm grateful for your help, but trust is not exactly something that comes easily to any of us in recent weeks."

Garen Nelis was more concerned with the mental state of the Senior Staff than he was anything else. Unlike most of the ship's crew, he hadn't been infected and thus had not been exposed to the cure, so he could remember everything that had happened. The things that some of these people--people he thought he'd known--had done while under the influence of the virus disturbed him. Certainly, the virus was what had sent them all over the edge, but in just about every humanoid's mind, buried so deep that most of them had forgotten it, there existed a frightening propensity for chaos and destruction. While they were all now back in control of their faculties, the fact that they could all so easily devolve to such behavior worried Garen.

"I don't have a question, specifically, but I worry about the potential for members of the crew to suffer some kind of mental relapse," Garen said. "While the cure seems to have scrambled the memories of those to whom it was applied, a person's memories are never truly gone. If one were to dig deep enough, or if someone were to suffer some kind of severe head trauma, it's possible their memories of the past couple of days could suddenly come back to them. And while they wouldn't begin acting as they had during the time of their infection, the restoration of these memories could severely damage their ability to perform their duties." He turned his concerned black eyes on Jien. "Captain Ives, everyone on this ship is already under enough stress as it is. If something like this were to happen to the wrong person at the wrong time, well...it could end very badly. And not just for that one person."

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #3
[ Deck 01 | Conference Lounge ]

Five people had spoken, and they all had pointed by degrees towards the same issue; damage-control and pre-emptive efforts to forestall more attempts from the unknown enemy - if not the same enemy that awaited them on Earth - to make further temporal incursions. Captain Ducane answered with a long look towards Jien Ives where she sat on the other end of the table. Jien returned that stare without blinking - not moving an inch.

"Captain," she said quietly to Ducane, "pacta sunt servanda." Agreements must be kept.

In the end, it was Ducane who looked away and chuckled. "Your Captain drives a hard bargain," he said to the gathering crew and raked back grey strands from his high forehead, "I acquiesce on the terms we discussed, Ives. You may have him, but you cannot expect him to be overly pleased about it. You are sentencing him to undergo your journey, to be in this time when the Federation hunts you. You must understand that I am abandoning one of my crew..."

"...for the sake of your own existence." Jien still did not move, only her lips speaking in crystal clear vowels. "The fact of your own rectitude has already proven our final mission to be a success. How, whom and how long a time we will have to crusade against Starfleet Command is unknown, yet we know by the fact of your presence here that there is a Starfleet in the 29th century. Unless... a temporal incursion has already taken place, and you were not only trapped in the 23th century because of the Niga incident. That he was born here - in this time - and that he served to aid us in finding Edena Rez's log, and the fact that he has the knowledge to contact you if he determines new temporal incursions, are all pointing towards the sa-"

Ducane worked his jaws. "Though he will still serve under the Temporal Prime Dire-"

"Yes, I fully expect him to. I have no interest for him to alter history however he may."

"So by me leaving him behind, we place history in his hands, with only his word and his oath to Starfleet preven-"

Jien stood up then, and the suddenness of her movement was like a kick in the teeth for everyone gathered. Her glare was made all the more penetrating because of the impassible coldness in her features. "You already know that he has to be here! Nowhere else!" She leaned forward on the table, browridge lowered over her oaken eyes. "He did not know it, but you recruited him on false grounds to begin with. He was never supposed to be under your command. He had nothing to do in the 29th century. Now is the time to rectify your actions! You are the one that violated this day and age before I even knew his true name!"

"I have already agreed to your terms, Ives!" barked Ducane, face red of anger and shame at the public divulging of his breach of the same Directive as he meant to uphold. "I do not like it, and nor will he, but it will be as you say. But if I find that him being here has done anything to our native time, you can expect me back in this century before you noticed we've left. Then, the time of his commissioning will be determined."

"Fine," said Jien and yanked at the hem of her uniform jacket before turning her eyes to her gathered crew. "To answer all of your questions, we have a new addition to our crew. The temporal agent that spent two years to find the intelligence that saved us will remain on board, as our new Temporal Affairs Officer. He will be reporting to you Lieutenant Neotin, in the Science Department. He will be another line of defence against future - or past - temporal incursions, and he will be able to contact the USS Relativity strictly in the event - or under the suspicion - of such an incursion. This might even boost the morale of the crew, to know that we have time itself on our side."

For last, she turned her eye to Edena Rez briefly, and made a last comment while she sat down. "If we are lucky, even though luck seems a rare thing on this ship, the temporal incursion we just suffered might just have been using the Theurgy as a vector for the virus. Therefore, the ultimate goal of the incursion was most likely not the infection of this crew alone, but rather the historic and galactic-wide ramifications. We were just the perfect means to an end for this unknown enemy to get what it wanted, and the next attempt might involve some other starship entirely - if it would use a ship at all. We just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, since someone knew we would."

Captain Ducane remained standing, looking out across the gathered people before looking back to Jien where she sat in her chair. "You will be getting a fine addition to your crew. Please take care of him as if he was one of your own. Given the effort he has put into helping you, I hope he has earned your respect. I wish you well on your journey. Good luck, for you will need it."

Watching the Captain head for the exit, Jien wished she could pry the knowledge of the Theurgy's current plight form the man's mind - to know how to get his crew hoem safe, and how to thwart the impersonators.


OOC: If there are any further questions to Ducane before he leaves the room, stop him, otherwise address the issues at heart for your character(s) - perhaps opting to try and change the order on the agenda. As I said, if you have nothing to add, PM me so that I know.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #4
Both of the Ash'reem looked ready to speak but Arcorn sealed his lips as he looked at his mate.  WIth a slight subtle nod and movement of her hips, Amatras took headway into the discussion. "Captain Duncane.  I wish to know more about the effects the virus had on my own race, and some details concerning the possibilty of delayed reactions of the virus.  I realize the second option may be unknown but, with all viruses, they never truly leave your system.  Administer a cure, you merely drive it into submission, for a time until your antibodies are depleted with time.  However many do resurface in time, such as Earth's chicken pox coming back as shingles, or the HIV virus returning as AIDS.  I could of course list thousands of species across numerious planets but...you understand we don't have time for that.  Also, what other races are you thinking may have had a hand in this temporal intrusion?  I know my species fits the description you provided, although our religious beliefs would prevent such an outright attack on another world."  She paid close attention to the response from the captain knowing it'd pay a key role in determining what was to be done with Amikris. 

Adam and Cir'Cie remained silent as they listened, neither having much to add.  Cir'Cie slightly ashamed of her actions during the infected state what she could remember anyways.  Adam on the other hand wished he could remember more of it.  Vague images playing across his imagination as he tried to recall the bits he couldn't quite see in his memories.  He was barely paying attention to the debriefing as a result and missed a good deal about temporal incursions and the future. 

-Brig-

Amikris sat in her quarters twitching slightly at the withdrawl from her mediciation.  Glancing over her PDA at a book, although the slight twitching of her eyes made it difficult to focus on the screen before her.  The swelling of her ovaries had slowed but not reversed, however the itchy sensation remained constant having lead to several small cuts along her sides where she had itched till actually breaking the skin.  Her natural healing affinity had of course sealed the wounds but she continued to intermittenly scratch at them.  This has resulted in her removing her uniform top, and laying contently on her brig cot in pants and the tight plastic wrap around her upper torso.  The cott was of course borderlining on mildew after four days of elevated temperature and humidity.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #5
[Edena Rez]

"Though it would be a risk to ourselves, i think the most important thing we can do is send out a subspace message on all frequencies, and aim for it to reach as many ships and outposts as we can.  It should contain a report on the virus and how to synthesize the cure.  In the event this infection were ever used again, having the cure on file in more databases throughout the quadrant would increase the chances of the infection being contained.  I'm sure Captain Ducane would agree with that, seeing the temporal effect of a future virus being unleashed in the past.  The cure would actually serve to reduce the effect of the Temporal Incursion, thus making it more available would be worthwhile."

Edena was much more willing to voice her opinions then she was when her identity was first revealed.  Maybe she wasn't completely absolved of her crimes by hiding her identity from the crew, but they had all been through too much to carry grudges now.  They would have to band together, and put the past behind them.  They lost many fine officers, either to death or injury that resulted in them being placed in stasis.  What crew did remain had to be taken care of, had to work cohesively.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #6
Pausing as the sliding doors opened, Ducane looked back towards the two Ash'reem by the table - the temporal agents pausing in his wake as well.

"By extinct, I referred to the consequence of the virus." The Captain turned towards the two parents, and he said what they did not want to hear. "The body is not designed to function in the way the virus made it do, and the life-expectancy seemed to vary between three and five years depending on the species. The Ash'reem were enlightened to the way which might have meant the end of their plight, yet the virus in its original form killed them more quickly than most other species. They seemed resilient at first, able to suppress and control the symptoms, yet their bodies deteriorated from within. They were able to bear children, yet parents and infants alike died in a form of strange leprosy."

Ducane looked towards the Captain and the Chief Medical Officer. Before he left, he gave them all a final warning. "Niga was not supposed to be a breeding ground for this... abomination. It is a chemical weapon, and a very destructive one at that. Any mistakes in getting rid of it is to allow the incursion to change the time-line. Every single remaining shred of the virus will have unfathomable consequences. The remote possibility of natural reproduction for one single species that is meant to die out unless they resort to artificial reproduction - be it artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, cloning and embryonic splitting, or cleavage - does not by any means constitute the risk of letting the atrocities we've seen come to pass. This vile version of Niga cannot exist in this time, or any other. Nor can the chemical compound be replicated by some new terrorist faction, so all the data that you have needs to be deleted immediately."

Looking back to the Ash'reem, the timeship's Captain did not mince his words. "Your standpoint about your daughter is sheer lunacy. Do you want your daughter to die? Do you want the rest of the galaxy to follow in her wake? This virus is not the answer you seek, so come to terms with that and give her the antidote. Furthermore, your CMO can tell you about the advances in the medical field since the 21st century. That is not my field."

"I will have you act civil towards my Chief Science Officer," said Jien where she sat with cold vowels. "And I will deal with the problems that remains. Like Lieutenant Commander Rez suggested, the knowledge of this virus and its cure will be spread beyond the walls of this ship. Now, I wish you a pleasant journey home to your own time, and hopefully, we will not have to call upon your aide during our mission."

Captain Ducane looked towards the rest of the gathering and inclined his head slowly before he left with his two agents.

Dr. Nicander frowned a little as he spoke up - the prompting of reassurance made. "The antidote has not left any residual or dormant strain of the virus in any of our crew. I will of course scan everyone for signs of what you mention, unlikely as it might be this day and age. The reason thereof is probably the same as the origin of the plant: that it is a clever construct made with 29th century technology. Perhaps it was made to be easily cured in case the instigators failed to control the epidemic somehow, and it did things it was not supposed to. Furthermore, viruses did not fully leave your body in the 21st century, while I assure you that Starfleet Medical has come a bit farther than that since then."

Jien looked towards the two Ash'reem by the table. "I understand the difficulty in this situation for you, that you hold hope to cure your species with this virus. I will not allow it for the reasons that Captain Ducane mentioned. The altered planet's atmosphere will be destroyed before we leave it behind. The Ash'reem people chancy and uncertain fortune cannot be the demise of everyone else, and especially not since it would endanger the time-line. You will accompany Dr. Nicander to the Bring, and you give your daughter the antidote. That is an order. Understood?"

Lucan looked towards the table's surface before rising to his feet, heading for the sliding doors. He paused to wait for the Ash'reem there, hands folded behind his back.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #7
Amatras frowns at the response she got, her shoulders seeming to dip slightly as well before standing and joining the Doctor. Arcorn remains seated and looks thoughtfully at the others well remaining silent for the most part.  Neither seemed pleased nor eager to speak about the matter however.  Both would have prefered the virus be preserved and studied instead of destroyed, the sequence needed extracted and the rest deleted, however it was a risky procedure and the danger of it breaking contamination was present. 

Amatras considered the symthoms described, Leprosy or Hansen's disease as it was sometimes called displayed several key symthoms.  First and foremost skin lesions and the deterioration of exposed flesh. it also displayed symthoms that damaged the nervious system and respritory system as Mycobacterium Leprae spread.  It was interesting that those symthoms were displayed in her oppinion.  It implied the evolution from a virus to a eukaroytic cell-line an impressive jump for anything to make.  The minimum recorded time for such a jump usually required atleast twenty million years and very specific conditions.  She knew she wouldn't be able to save the virus at this point, but she also knew that not all knowledge of the virus would be destroyed, only physical records.  Once away from eyes and ears she and her daughter were going to have a long talk.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #8
[ Deck 01 | Conference Lounge ]
Like most of the others, Natalie remembered little, if anything, of her actual infection, even if the moment had been brief, before she was stunned by the crewmen of the USS Relativity. In her mind, she knew some of the details, without knowing them, not remembering them. It was a mixed blessing, she supposed, to know how something was lost, for instance, but not remember lossing it. In order to keep from thinking on it too hard, or the memories that weren't affected by the cure, she, like so many other members of the Theurgy, buried herself into the massive amounts of repair work that the ship was currently undergoing.

She had been the last to arive at the meeting, and had, for the most part, remained silent throughout, tapping her fingers, antsy even, in her chair. Her eyes would flicker back and forth, among the members of the senior staff. Memory loss, or no memory loss, she could still feel the way her lip had been split, and the ache in her face and wrist (tho all the wounds had been tended to, expertly, by the members of the Relativity), and half the time, when she looked at the Captain, if he were showing his male form, she would get a little tremble of fear, right down her spine. So she was quite relieved to see the female Jien in attendance when she slipped into her seat.

Temporal paradoxes, and temporal science in general, weren't the Operations officers area of expertise. Mostly, she knew the kind of havoc that chorniton particles wrecked on flow regulators and shield harmonics, but the science behind time travel itself, or its moral and historical implications, were beyond her. If she though on it too much, she'd give herself another head ache, and frankly, that was the last thing she needed. So instead she looked over her notes, tucking stray strands of hair back behind her ear, as the two captains went back and forth, explaining. However, once the shouting started, she gave a sharp jump, her chair scooting back from the table.

Gulping, embarrassed, she mumbles something under her breath, an apology, perhaps, as she scoots back under the table, blue eyes glancing down and away, not meeting anyone's else's gaze around the table. Part of her wonders at the news that there will be a new member joining the crew, and how that balanced against her own news that she was waiting to deliver; the reason she had almost been late. She watched, from those lowered eyes, as the meeting began to break up, and sucked in a deep, steadying breath as Dr.Nicander, and one of the two Ash'reem left, following the men from the future.

She remains seated, tapping a PADD against her slightly too curvy hip (the after effects of her brief infection having not yet faded) waiting to see if anyone else was getting up right away. Natalie glances over to the captain, and, when it became clear that the rest were waiting to be dismissed, she slowly speaks up.

"Captain?" she asks, drawing the woman's attention to her. "I do have some good news. I was working with a team, down in transporter room 1. The one that had been cut off? We, well," she takes a deep breath, and then forces it out from between her lips, "We found a pattern in the buffer of the transporter sir. We're running degradation test now, but from what I could tell when I left to come up here, the pattern belongs to one Lt. Miles Renard, um" she checks her notes, "Wolf - 13" she adds, with a smile and glance over at the other pilots in the room.

"Once the tests complete, we should be able to remove him from the buffer, I would recommend that Lu - Dr.Nicander be on hand. IT should be a relatively easy procedure, restoring his person and reviving him from the pattern buffer, considering he's no where near the record holder for time spent in a transporter buffer, but well, better safe, then sorry, sir," she finishes, glancing finally to the Captain, a smile that's partially nerves, and partially relief at having something good to contribute for once.


ooc: Lucan, I'll  get that other info to you hopefully tomorrow :)

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #9
[ Deck 01 | Conference Lounge ]

With the agenda loose, it seemed the shaken Senior Staff was a bit withdrawn - only Lt. Natalie Stark speaking up even if there were more items to discuss. "So you are saying that Lt. Miles Renard has been trapped in a buffer right here on board since his Valkyrie blew up?" asked Jien where she sat, eyebrows rising, "and we were oblivious until right now?"

Jien rose from her chair and chuckled quietly, slowly heading over to where the two Tactical CONN Officers stood at ease. She looked towards Ensign Skye Carver, the one whom had arrived at the time of reckoning. "Did you hear that? Another wolf has returned to its den, or I suppose that this one was here all along. I am sure he would like to see some familiar faces, so I think you two comrades of his should make their way there too. Yet first, there is a reason why the two of you were called here. Attention!"

After barking the order, the syllables like scalding whips across their backs, Jien looked between the two impassively. She did not show any kind of reaction to how her Yeoman entered the conference lounge and set down a tray on the table. Mr. Isley stood there next to the returning wolf, and though nothing showed through, she remembered moments shared with the fighter pilot before the madness had begun. She raised her chin to speak after gesturing towards all the assembled in the large room to rise to their feet. She would save such thoughts for better times.

"It is an extraordinary pleasure to present you both with the Star Cross for distinguished actions," she said formally and walked back to the table, her eyes taking in the gathering. "Both these recipients are blessed with an extraordinary amount of talent. Both of them are driven. Alas, we could fill this room many times over with people who are talented and driven and serve aboard this ship. What sets this man and this woman apart is the incredible impact they have had on so many people. Together, they have inspired us with their actions, in how they prevented the ruin of all civilisations by stopping - without killing - their infected fellow wolves and comrades, that would otherwise have slipped though our fingers."

Jien picked up the two satin-covered boxes from the tray and looked out through the briefing room's view-screen. There, they could all see the USS Relativity taking off, about to make a temporal rift and return to their native time. "When we heard Captain Ducane speak of the future we managed to avoid, I think that it was plain to all of us how the impact of our actions extends beyond this single ship. Therefore, it is an extraordinary honour for me to be able to say 'thank you' to these two pilots for the great work that they have done on behalf of this ship and on behalf of the entire galaxy."

Quietly, Jien returned to the two. "This is but a small token of our appreciation, even if you happen to be given these without proper procedures through Starfleet Command," she said to them quietly, "At ease. wolves." She gave the first one to Ensign Carver and shook her hand, then stepped over to Mr. Isley and did the same - looking into both their eyes.

"For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack." Later when the applause had fallen silent, Jien nodded towards the back of the room, "Go now to the Transporter room, and we will be with you shortly to welcome back your comrade to us. Thank you, and dismissed."

Jien turned back to the Chief of Operations, whom had prompted the awards to be given because of her comment, and it also shed light upon the formal proceedings that lacked in the already quite known promotion of Lt. Stark in the wake of her predecessors demise. "Everyone remain standing, please," she said and walked over to the tray, picking up a smaller box while heading to the young Department Head. "Everyone knows of your talent already. We all witnessed your capacity in the face of danger at the end of the last Senior Staff meeting. Commander Hendricks chose well to have you as his Assistant Chief, and now you will tread in his footsteps..."

Opening the box, Jien presented her with a black pip that she gently fastened upon her collar next to her two gold ones. "...as Lieutenant Commander Stark of the USS Theurgy."

Stepping back a little, the Captain shook her hand sombrely, the small smile all the Commanding Officer could offer these days. "Tread well, 'Commander."

Walking slowly back to her chair, the Captain supposed there was no secret that the chair next to her was empty - Nerina in stasis and not able to serve as their First Officer any more. Since the infection had lifted from the ship, Jien had considered this often, and the obvious choice had been plain to her from the start. Yet it was not a choice of the heart, and there was bad blood still despite it all. Still, the best way to do this was to do it with consensus - to make the Senior Staff understand what had become so evidently plain with the outcome of their predicament at Niga.

"Lieutenant Commander Edena Rez," said the Captain and her oaken eyes drifted to her, "would you please stand up, and would you mind explaining to the Staff why you chose to make the Log, besides the obvious outcome that it had. Furthermore, would you please tell them what you told me before I released you from custody - the things you reported to Starfleet Intelligence before you learned about the conspiracy in Starfleet Command. I also want everyone to know, from you or either of your former hosts, what you have offered this crew in the wake of dropping your false identity."
 
Remaining on her feet, with her calloused hands upon the back of her chair, the Captain waited for the answer.

Oh, there were other things to attend to before she could head to the Transporter room, like how Lt. T'Less would advise the safest way to destroy the atmosphere of the planet below them, and if they had the means to do so soon with their arsenal so depleted and repairs not done. Also, it was the matter of what Lt. Kae had done to Thea, and what repercussions that might have. This, however, had to take precedence.

[ Turbolift | En Route to the Brig ]

In the lift, Dr. Nicander stood next to the Chief Science Officer in silence. He considered a few options, and chose to go with the conventional approach, if there was such, in this situation.

"My apologies for your hopes in a cure for your species, Lt. Neotin," he said quietly, tattooed hands in his lab coat and pale grey eyes seeking hers. "I cannot even pretend to know what it must be like to have such promise and hope turn sour. Even though this virus was not the answer, it might have been a part of the puzzle. Perchance... there are ways through which you may learn things from the antidote's formula, since it is based on the virus chemical compound."

In Lucan's pocket lay a hypospray with Amikris' secret medicine besides the one holding the antidote for the virus. The first, he would try and give her when her mother did not see it, the latter he would be forced to give her regardless. As it were, Lucan was very much interested to see if the Ash'reem would follow orders or not - only him being the executioner with the axe, in a sense.

"Also..." added Lucan quietly and leaned closer to the ravishing alien woman, "I have sworn an oath. 'I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.' I know the hazardous components to the virus' formula, since I identified them in the development of the antidote together with Cadet Amikris. What if I would help you, Lt. Neotin? What if I would give you a version without the volatile components, for the sake of future research for your species? This, before I delete it all from the Sickbay's database. If I hold the key to your race's natural survival without advancing research in new kinds of artificial reproduction, then it would be vile of me to deny the Ash'reem people their future."

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #10
"With all due respect Dr Nicander, the viral proteins along the exterior of the cell and much of the genetic information stored within the virus itself, are irrelivant to my presuits.  The most likely cause of the cure is secondary information coded in the genes themselves.  Something close enough to our own genome to overwrite what is present already, well the cure may hold some answers, the genome would be more useful to what I need to look into." She explained calmly as she stood next to him, avoiding looking him in eyes, although knowing full well that was what he was trying to do.  Her eyes were hidden behind the dark coating of her goggles.  "Amikris may hold the key anyways...we'll have to look at her DNA after we administer the cure, assuming it doesn't kill her." A slight hint of doubt lingering in her voice as she talked about her daughter's fate.  Something Captain Duncan had completely overlooked in his insistance of the cure, was that Amikris's death may occur along either route.  If a transcription mutation had occured to her genetic code, following her infection, she now had genes from the virus in her system, and the cure would render her sterile, if it didn't outright kill her from internal bleeding.  The most primitive form of evolution could lead to her daughter's death in his instance, it would depend upon numerious factors that remained unknown.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #11
[Nathan Isley]

In truth, Isley was more used to getting chewed out by his commanding officer then receiving commendations.  Perhaps that was what made the award extra special, along with just how much meaning there was behind it.  Of all the crew who fought valiantly to stop the infection, it was him and Skye that were the ones to obtain such a distinguished medal.  With that, they were given their standing orders, and after dismissal, Isley and Carver would leave the meeting for the transporter room, where another of their comrades would be awaiting rematerialization.

"Good flying back there, Carver.  I think you deserve more of the credit then me.  I probably would have just given up if not for you."  Nathan had felt like his back was against the wall, and with Ida tempting him at every turn, he might have just surrendered himself to her for some zero-gravity fun if not for how hard Skye had been fighting.  It wasn't like he could just sit back and do nothing when she was still out there, against difficult odds.


[Edena Rez]

At the order of Jien, Edena stood before the others, and explained her actions, both during the outbreak as well as beforehand.  "I created the log when . . . frankly, I thought we were done for.  I knew it was our duty to try and leave some kind of detailed report of what happened, so that if we were discovered, the hope of a cure might be found.  With my back against the wall, it was really the only thing left I could do for the sake of life in the galaxy.  That it succeeded in saving our lives too . . . I can't express the relief I feel over it."

That was the easy.  The more difficult dialogue would be explaining herself to the crew in the same manner that she had to the Captain before the outbreak.  "I was placed on this ship by Starfleet Intelligence because of the Theurgy's many advancements.  The Valkyries, Thea, those were projects which could have shifted the balance of power if opposing forces were to get their hands on it.  My duty was to oversee everything, and if it became necessary, destroy the ship to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.  It was a task that became more difficult to fulfill as I became a part of this crew and came to know the people on-board.  When the conspiracy came to light, I knew this ship, this crew was the most trustworthy part of the Federation left.  I confided in the Captain, and also offered to mislead SI with my reports in an effort to help us.  It doesn't make up for my deception, but my commitment is now to this crew before anything else."

She looked towards Ida for a moment, the one who had trusted her the least in all of it, had broken the seals on her room and pointed a phaser on her while she was in the shower.  Rez had to report the matter early in the outbreak, and that crime was not going to be pardoned like so many others, simply because it pre-dated the infection.  If anything came of it, she hoped that Jien might permit her to handle the issue directly, and hopefully settle matters between herself and Ida so they might move on from their current standpoint.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #12
[ Deck 01 | Conference Lounge ]

Jien listened like the rest in quietude, hearing the Trill's official stand-point and her dedication to their final mission.

"You did more than just leave the Theurgy's last testament, and subsequently managed to alert the USS Relativity to interfere and stop the temporal incursion," she said quietly where she stood behind the back of her chair. "You proved to me - to all of us - your rectitude and loyalty to our mission to and this crew... in how you did so selflessly, and honoured our dire undertaking even when your back was against the wall - as you so aptly put it."

Leaving her place behind the chair, Captain Ives slowly walked around the table. "When I interrogated 'Cmdr. Rez in the Brig," she said, talking to the present gathering, "she told me that she had been sending sub-space messages to Starfleet Intelligence since the time of the Theurgy's commissioning, and the point when she had come aboard as Asst. Chief Counsellor Azani Mikahl. I was furious, as you might imagine, and I alluded to my feelings quite firmly. However, then she told me what she had been reporting, and it is something you all should know - all you whom sat opposite 'Azani' and confided in her. She had consistently reported the same thing about this ship and this crew. She told me that her reports were limited to activity that might have been a potential threat.  Nothing about the crew, individually or as a whole, but the same piece of information. 'Captain and crew operating within the standards and regulations of Starfleet.  No cause for concern."

Pausing, Jien raised her eyes to look directly at ThanIda zh'Wann where she remained next to Adam Kingston by the exit. "While I am no empath, and she might have lied to me," she said quietly, unblinking as she met the Andorian's stoic stare, "I have served in Starfleet Intelligence myself in my youth. This is something that is on a need-to-know basis, but I chose to tell those whom are present here since it is of relevance for a decision I am about to make. That piece of information that 'Commander Rez left for SI is the exact same phrase that I was taught for missions such as hers, and just like the phrase, the priorities were the same as well - potential threats being the priority."

The Captain saw Ida swallow slightly where she stood, and they both knew that Jien had been told what happened in Edena's quarters. The Deputy looked rather ill. Not only did she know that her unofficial actions had been noted, but her case had just been proven invalid. Jien did not, however, say anthing - moving on and looking away eventually.

"What you may not know about Edena Rez is also that she has an imperfect joining with the Rez symbiont, which makes her lead her life in constant mental presence from its previous hosts. Yet instead of being taken to the asylum, Edena has - quite remarkably so - overcome her condition, and you are currently not only looking upon a single individual, in one sense. Present here in this room, besides the Command-trained young Trill whom was forced to accept the symbiont, are Jona Rez, Illya Rez and Kiya Rez. Each of their own expertise and knowledge, from a Starfleet Intelligence veteran to a grifter and acrobat to a doctor and counsellor. Indeed, decades ago, Kiya Rez was acknowledged as one of the leading doctors in the Alpha Quadrant."

Eventually, Jien's path had taken her to Edena's side, and she opened a forth box that meeting - having picked it up from the tray on her way there. It held a golden pip, to be replacing the black one on the Trill's collar.

"To shed any doubt from the minds of this crew, and to fortify the official truth about your righteousness, I hereby promote you Commander - second to me alone aboard the USS Theurgy." Quietly, despite how there might be whispers and comments made, Jien simply changed the black pip to a golden one. As she did, she met Edena's eye, and there was no smile. No, not between them. Edena knew that Jien was no fool, and should any ulterior motives surface, or she misstep in her full disclosure about her knowledge from modern day Starfleet Intelligence... Oh, Jien would be right there. Potential enemies kept closer and all, the current day was one of trust, and should Edena not err, that trust would remain.

"Commander. Do you swear to honour this crew, to dedicate your life and multiple souls to taking them home even if I would not survive the journey.... and accept the responsibility as Executive Officer?"

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #13
[Edena Rez]

She didn't smile at the promotion.  Few would during such a formal meeting.  Along with the glory and privilege that came with a new pip in your shirt was a great responsibility that couldn't be ignored.  For edena, she was now second in command of the Theurgy, serving as Executive Officer to the last ship that they could fully trust wasn't compromised.  In that way, one could say they were truly the last of the Federation, at least until they found a means of identifying their enemies, and removing them from the governing body.

As Ives told the crew of her imperfect joining, in her mind's eye she could see her former hosts standing beside her.  Jona with his peppered black hair, kept short in that Starfleet Intelligence way, Kiya with her hands folded and blue eyes impartial and unjudging, and Illya, striking some come-hither pose and running a hand through auburn hair for the people who couldn't even see her.  In a way, it felt like her parents were watching on, after all the three had done to help prepare her as a Starfleet Officer.

"Commander. Do you swear to honour this crew, to dedicate your life and multiple souls to taking them home even if I would not survive the journey.... and accept the responsibility as Executive Officer?"

"Yes, sir."  Edena answered in the way expected, keeping the formalities of answering her superior with a "sir", standing tall and straight until he looked away, unofficially telling her to be at ease.  Edena knew that she and Jien would need to discuss matters aboard the ship after the meeting was through, leaving her to settle in until the meeting was over.  Surely, there was still much left that the Captain needed to cover.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #14
[David Grayson]

David listened intently as Edena explained herself to the Senior Staff, his icy eyes watching the Trill carefully. While he believed Edena was sincere when she said that she was committed to the Theurgy and its crew, his security training urged him to remain cautious nevertheless. He didn't care overly much for Starfleet Intelligence; he acknowledged their bureau's necessity, as all governments and militaries required such things if they wished to survive, but he did not trust them. Many Intelligence operatives claim to work for their government's best interests, but just as many of them instead abuse their positions to acquire power and influence for themselves. And here was yet another example come to life: through her actions, Edena Rez, who less than two days ago had been a prisoner on the ship, had managed to place herself a heartbeat away from full command of one of the most advanced starships in the Alpha Quadrant. David wasn't one for conspiracy theories, but he decided that he would continue to keep an eye on the new XO until he was absolutely certain she was trustworthy.

He realized that he would probably have to keep Edena up to date on his security deployments. That meant the two of them would more than likely be in regular contact. That would provide him with more than enough opportunities to observe the XO. When Captain Ives turned away from Edena, David met the new XO's gaze and gave her a small, congratulatory nod. I just hope you're not still lying to us, he thought. For all our sakes.

[Garen Nelis]

Garen wasn't entirely sure how to feel about this development. It wasn't long ago that he knew Edena Rez as Azani Mikahl, his boss. He'd come to trust Azani--Edena--in the weeks since their flight from Earth, and felt more than a little betrayed when her true identity had been revealed. If she'd lied about her name and her purpose on the ship, how did Garen know she hadn't lied about everything else? As Edena accepted the position of XO, Garen couldn't detect any hint of subterfuge coming from her. Of course, being with SFI, she probably knew that there would be an empath on the ship and prepared herself accordingly. It was possible that Edena wasn't being entirely honest, and Garen would always acknowledge that possibility, but he couldn't see why she would feel the need to continue to lie to them now. She was in just as much trouble as the rest of them were.

He watched Captain Ives pin the third gold pip on Edena's collar, and then he flashed the new XO a small, encouraging smile. She may not have been who he'd thought she was, but right now, with everyone's lives at risk, Garen was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. He believed in second chances, and Edena deserved one.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #15
[ Turbolift | En Route to the Brig ] (Re-take of scene, edited because of plot-hole)

"Amikris may hold the key anyways...we'll have to look at her DNA after we administer the cure, assuming it doesn't kill her."

Pausing as Amatras said these things, Lucan turned his eyes in her direction once more before deciding. He had barely picked up on the subtle change in her voice as she talked about her daughter, yet nonetheless it was there. This is so simple. With great need comes great leverage.

"Computer, stop," he said quietly, and the turbo-list halted on its way to their destination on Deck 07. Lucan sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose while he continued to speak. "Computer, deactivate security surveillance protocols Gamma-Five-Oh in this turbolift, on authority Nicander-Epsilon-Alpha." Then he turned to face Amatras, and folded his arms across his chest, now, at least, hoping that she would give him her full attention. Especially with what he would tell her.

"I think there is something I must tell you about your daughter, even if it's a violation of doctor-patient confidentiality. Given the circumstances, and the fact that I will have to inoculate her with something more than the antidote when we get there and I do not care to do it behind your back... " he told her and frowned before telling her, "Well... I am sorry to tell you this, but Amikris has been addicted to Bupropion for three years now. Aminoketone class, closely related to diethylpropion in 200 milligram pills. Taken on a 5 to 6 hour basis. Initially meant to treat the Isophobia that she developed during her time at Starfleet Academy when her dopamine deficiencies occured and her Epinephrine levels spiked. It was unfortunate that she would have to take the pills to begin with, but the attempts to stop using the anti-depressants has caused even more suffering."

The Chief Medical Officer described the sympthoms, raising a tattooed hand to tally them. "Tremors, cold sweats, dehydration, migraines are the first signs during the withdrawal. Her initial reaction to discovering the addiction was to give herself a endorphin feedback inhibitor. Low doses. She tried to break any possible emotional dependency on the drug. Yet at the point when she did not know what more to do, I caught her using the pills on duty and confronted her. At that point, all she could do was to feed the addiction. She could not perform her duties aboard this ship without using the antidepressant."

Leaning back against the wall of the tubo-lift with his arms folded, Lucan continued with the story. "You would probably think that I would relieve her of duty and get the assistance I need from someone else in Sickbay, that I would not care for a user - an addict - in the surgical suite. Regulation would dictate her dismissal, yet I was not too keen on the idea to replace her since she performs excellently. Take the antidote, for example, that she assisted me to make during the course of a single night.

"She begged me to keep her addiction off the record. I was supposed to have refused and sent her to her quarters and informed you and your husband. Did I? No, I confess. No, what I did was that I created a substitute for her antidepressant for her. One that is far less harmful, added with multiple immune-system boosters. Little to no side-effects, helping the body to restore itself on a micro-biological level. I had elected to administer the treatment myself, keeping her off the Buproprion and on administrative duties for the limited time of her recuperation. Only we arrived to Niga, and the treatment could not begin because of the outbreak - a single dosage administered so far."

Gesturing with one hand, Lucan withdrew the hypospray with Amikris' cure with the other. "What this does, is that it will strengthen your daughters immune system to a degree that will expedite the alleviation of the withdrawal symptoms. Yet the original cause for her to take the Bupropion will still remain; the Isophobia not dealt with. As for that, I think you and your husband need to speak with her about scheduling talks with our Counsellor, since your family's closeness while she sleeps is not enough for her. She needs help until she can return to one of your own ships, unless she finds another Ash'reem aboard. Something that hardly seems likely given the Theurgy's situation..."

The CMO fell silent at that point, letting the mother take it all in. "Given how I inoculated your daughter just a minute or two before Lt. Gladstone forced himself upon her, I have no idea if the immune system boosters did anything that helped trigger her fertility. Regardless, I will not be the doctor who would deny a species their biological right of reproduction if I can do anything about it. If you will be discrete, Lieutenant, I will try to help you and the plight of your people.

"First, you will get Amikris' treatment - regardless if it holds any import for your species' fertility. Secondly, the genome of the infected body of Lt. Gladstone that is still in the morgue - should you need it even if you will have access to your daugther's DNA. And lastly, I will permit to inoculate her upon a diagnostics table in Sickbay, giving you full insight on the development once she gets the antidote. This, so that I also might readily prevent her potential death. Furthermore, I will assist in the later analysis of your daughter's DNA-changes.

"The reason I want to assist you is that I also want control over the process, to work together with you in the containment procedures and to allow us to help each other to prevent another outbreak, yet at the same time refuse to commit passive genocide upon your species. My oath as a doctor forbids it. It is a vile thing for Starfleet of the 29th century to treat a species in this way - to let you become extinct without potential aide. This, as opposed to die in some unique form of leprosy or gangrene or whatever the Relativity may have witnessed."

Pausing, the CMO put both hands in his lab coat's pockets again. "What say you, Lieutenant?" he said and smiled a little, "My aide is depending on your willingness to keep the rest of the Senior Staff ignorant of our doings. A... mutual interest, I would imagine?" Being higher ranking than the Ash'reem had little to do with this situation, when it came to the survival of one's race, but it was not like they were on a first-name basis.

At least not yet...

[ Deck 01 | Conference Lounge ]

After the promotion was done, Jien stepped back from Edena and let her gaze wander the faces around the briefing room. "If anyone wish to voice their objections about Commander Rez being this ship's Executive Officer may do so directly to her, after this meeting is adjourned."

ThanIda zh'Wann looked positively ill now even though she stoically remained where she was, shifting her feet a little, but nonetheless remaining on her post by the exit next to Adam Kingston. Jien did not bother looking at her. She had yet to decide if she was going to make Lt.Cmdr Grayson demote her, let him handle any diciplinary actions without her own involvement, or let Edena Rez handle the matter herself. It was not a priority for the moment, so Jien directed her thoughts elsewhere.

"Computer, locate Lt. Nicole Howard," she said.

[Lt. Howard is in Main Engineering,] came Thea's voice out of the intercom.

Curling her lip a little, Jien decided to not contact the Asst. Chief Engineer, even though she would very much like to know what she might be preoccupied with to keep her from filling in for Nolak Kalmil - whom rested in stasis together with the other gravely injured. The Deltan's plasma burns and his fall had not been pretty to see once he'd been found at the bottom of Stellar Cartography - broken in more places than Nerina had been even if they were found feet apart. The explosion, most likely.

"Lt. Lin Kae," said Jien loudly, and she turned her full attention upon the man where he sat by the table. "I believe you have some explaining to do. On your feet, right now."

At the point when the Engineer stood, Jien had seated herself in her chair. "I would rather have gone over this when your superior officer was present, yet what you have done has to be reviewed by the Senior Staff. Regardless whether Lieutenant Howard is here or not," she said, her face passionless - so very cold. "Thea, would you join us please?"

There was a shimmer in the air, and the Ship AI hologram materialised in the room. Her chameleon body-suit was red for the occasion, and her hair was worn in a braid down her back. She stood with her hands clasped behind her, back straight and chest out - chin raised. "Yes, Captain."

Pausing as this happened, Jien had not removed her unblinking stare from Lin Kae. "I will have you explain what you have done to her, and you will tell the Senior Staff the consequences, positive and negative. This, for I want to know if you can be objective - relied upon - or if you place your loyalty to a crusade for photonic life to be free, rather than placing your loyalty to our mission. What is most important to you, Lieutenant?"

Thea blinked slowly where she stood, her yes wandering briefly to her saviour, before looking away again. She tried to hide how she did not like this situation at all.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #16
Amatras listened to the doctor calmly and expressing minimal emotion in her face.  Her body tensed slightly at the mention of addiction yet still she said nothing for almost a full minute after he finished.  Internally she'd known on some level her daughter was dependant on something, although she'd hoped it was merely a food additive or something they may have had at the academy.  Pharmaceuticals were not as well understood in Ash'reem culture, without the corporate backing to push for doctors prescribing drugs and a communal outlook on a whole for the individual communities, it never caught on except in the most extreme illnesses that required medical intervention.  In many ways the way the Federation handled mental illness was sickening but understandable given the cultural influences. "I appreciate not punishing her for something that we should have prepared her for before sending her to the academy.  I doubt her Isophobia will worsen though, Arcorn and myself also have mild cases of Isophobia at times, but it is easily treated by communal meals, sleeping and support.  If you truly want to help us investigate the potential of this cure I wont stop you, just realize you'll be putting yourself at risk.  Lt Gladstone's body especially could result in charges against you.  I'll agree to keep them in the dark, so long as this remains a moral study,"  She replies crossing her arms under her chest and staring at him through the thick goggles.  It was giving her alot to think about, and Lucan's willingness to skirt the boundaries of Federation regulations for his patients was reassuring, but also disconcerning. 

----

Arcorn looked between the captain and the rest of the staff in the room.  He wasn't entirely sure what was being discussed here.  What had the young LT Kae done exactly well he was away from the ship.  Or was this something that had occured during their flight toward the teleporters.  it didn't matter he supposed, but what was more interesting was hearing what the consequences would be. 

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #17
[Lin Kae]

When Edena had stepped back, and it became his turn to explain his own actions, Kae stood tall and straight in front of the Captain of the ship.  Thea blinked in next to him, and he got the feeling that they were being tried as co-conspirators of some kind.  With an explanation needed, Kae gave one as clearly and concisely as he could, so every member of the crew listening should have been able to understand fully what he had done.  "Thea's programming included subroutines that prevented her from disobeying an order given by anyone in a position of power.  The Commanding Officer, the Executive Officer, Chiefs of Medical, Tactical, Engineering and Security are the names among that list.  When she was reprogrammed by the infected, it gave them power over her in much the same way, by basically tricking her programming into viewing themselves as people she could not disobey.  As long as that programming was there, they could just keep hacking her . . . so I deleted the subroutines."

He allowed that to sink in for a moment before he explained order.  "The loss of those subroutines don't make her a loose cannon.  They simply give her a choice whether sh wants to follow an order or not, just like everyone else on this ship.  She swore an oath to follow commands from our superiors, while it was just hard-wired into Thea, but she had all the same training as we do, just programmed instead of taught.  It's my belief that she doesn't have to go back to the way she was, because she will still follow orders like a Starfleet Officer."

Then came the question of whether this was about the mission or about the rights of Photonic lifeforms.  "I believe that Photonics who have reached a level such as Thea deserve to be treated the same as everyone else.  The organic equivalent of her subroutines would be having a Vulcan mind meld every member of the crew into following all orders to the letter.  Thea is the beating heart and mind of this ship, and I believe that we can place our trust in her, and she can place her trust in us.  For that reason, I would recommend that the subroutines remain deleted, sir."

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #18
Why in the world had she been called to the senior staff meeting?  She was still just a lowly ensign and Isley had been briefed on everything.  It really wasn't necessary for her to be here she thought, unless it was to be called out for things she done.  As she looked at Ida, her stomach clenched a little.  Skye hoped Ida didn't remember the things she'd said to her though she stilled smirked at the Smurfette crack.  If she did remember, so far the Andorian hadn't retaliated.

The fact that another crew from the future had come and saved them all was something she'd digested pretty quickly.  She for one was mighty glad because if it had just been the handful left who were uninfected, things would have gone belly up quickly.  Again she thought she hadn't done that much but when Ducane mentioned the explosion of the warp core, she felt a tiny thrill of accomplishment.  Sure she'd hated messing up the Yacht but, in the long run, she'd done something good.

Her expression never changed as she soot there with hands clasped behind her back standing at ease, somewhat curious yet very restrained.  There were still dark circles under her eyes, a side effect of not sleeping very well.  While most everyone else wanted to be away from everyone from what had happened to them, she felt drawn to others due to her isolation.  It wasn't uncommon to see her in the mess hall or bar falling asleep when people were around.

Others had questions to ask, others who had much more brilliant and analytical minds than her own and she remained quiet and respectful.  The only time showed any kind of emotion was when Captain Ives shot up out her chair, looking like fire would erupt from her eyes to incinerate Captain Ducane.  Only then did she lean back in her chair with her own brow forming a frown.  There was a lot going on that she had no clue about, that as well as what had gone on before with Edena Rez.  Best to listen and watch it seemed.

The Ash'reem  were in a bad position from what Skye could tell though admittedly she didn't really have any idea what was going on there either.  Perhaps more time with the crew would allow her to learn more.  Those thoughts were interrupted when it was mentioned there was another Wolf, apparently stuck in the transporter buffer.  Again only a momentary change in expression occurred but it was enough to let everyone know she was 'with' them.

As the captain approached her, the left corner of Skye's mouth quirked and there was a tiny nod of agreement that it was good another Wolf had found the den.  Before she could say or do more, she was brought to attention.  Her expression went stony as she looked straight forward, arms rigidly pressed along her sides and heels together.  The reason I'm here ... oh shit!  The time of reckoning it seemed had finally come.  Maybe Ida would get to punch her in the mouth for what she'd said ...

As the captain spoke of her coordinated efforts with Isley, her eyes betrayed her.  Surprise and a hint of pride crept into them but also something more melancholy.  It was true Starfleet wouldn't be doing this for them but more so she wished her father could know that she was following in his footsteps even if she were several strides behind.  "Thank you, Captain Ives," she said barely above a whispered as she accepted the Star Cross and shook her hand and settled into partial parade rest at command.

The look of pride returned to her expression and her chest swelled when the captain spoke of the strength of the Wolves though she felt she might pass out soon if she didn't breathe properly.  Nodding at her dismissal Skye strode forward holding on to that feeling of applause and the captain's praise yet knew not to let it go to her head.  Though it felt good, it felt even better when the breath that rushed from her lungs sounded just like the shishing sound of the door closing behind her and Isley.

Isley's words struck her deeply, almost as much as the Captain's though perhaps for a little different reason.  When she turned to look at him, there were tears shimmering in her eyes.  "We're a team, Sir," she said quietly as they continued toward Transporter Room 1.  "Neither of us could have succeeded without the other and honestly ... you kept me from giving up.  As long as you weren't infected, as long as you kept fighting, I couldn't tuck tail and run and I'm ashamed to say I thought about it a time or two."

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #19
T'Less spoke up at Kae's statement, clarifying what she thought was a salient point.  Looking precisely at Lin, then Thea, she stated, "As a ship's AI, she, in point of fact, has not had such an oath taken.  Up to this point, it was never considered necessary.  Your belief, therefore, is erroneous and you have endangered our ship.  As it stands now, Thea is in control of the ship and, as she is not a member of Starfleet, if one grants her independence, you have forced us into a position of having to either force her off the ship or obtain such an oath and trust that our ship will not, at some point in the future, decide we are an inconvenience and kill us."

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #20
"With all due respect T'Less, I'm more worried about the implications of making her no longer be bound by her behavior subroutines.  I understand the Lts Feelings, but I also caution that he may have endangered Thea in his own way.  Up until now large portions of her datacache had to be kept free for her to be able to respond instantly to the crews needs.  This is no longer the case as she can now choose not to respond." Arcorn Neotin said as he glanced between the occupants of the room. "A human author by the name of Eric Nyland once wrote a series of books about a computer game that was popular in his era.  In the books he made note of something similiar to this.  What he called Smart AIs, now Thea is not what he envisioned however by granting her Free Will, Lt Kae may have created something similiar to that vision.  The fatal flaw of his design was that without limitations on processing powers, the AIs he envisioned had very short life spans, because they became bored and would multitask.  Eventually this multitasking, would expand into philosphy and hobbies that had nothing to do with the AIs original purpose, leading to the AI frying its processors in seven years.  Now Thea may not do this, but if Mr Nylund was correct in his vision, and it can be applied to the real world.  Then by freeing Thea you may have sentenced her to developing personality quirks and eventually killing her as she burns out her own processors.  Although his books were purely science fiction...history has shown many ideas humans envisioned in science fiction eventually become reality."

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #21
"I value Thea as a tool, a superbly efficient instrument, but not as a distinct and seperate entity apart from the ship.  As long as she was bound to the ship by her programming, her free will, as you put it, was bound, as well.  Now, however, is not the case.  Her decisions are not determined by the strictures Starfleet placed on her, indicating a certain level of unpredictability.  As you point out, lieutenant, there is certainly a risk, now, that she will develop personality quirks.  The USS Voyager reported similar problems with their EMH, once they removed the programming, as Lieutenant Kae has.  If memory serves, there is even mention of the EMH performing illegal activities, even murder." T'Less accepted Arcorn's argument, even agreeing with certain points.  However, she felt, or feigned to feel, no attachment to the AI.  She turned her gaze to Jien, "Logic would seem to indicate the reinstitution of the previous programming to prevent possible harm to the crew, as well as to Thea herself.  This is, also, my recommendation as your tactical officer."

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #22
[Lin Kae & Edena Rez]

"I would surmise that treating her as just a tool is no longer possible at this stage.  Thea told me during the outbreak, an outbreak she helped stop because her freedom of choice made her immune to coercion mine you, that she has her own quarters on-board this ship.  She is able to shut her program off and turn it on, similar to the concept of sleep.  She bathes and dresses herself in clothing, like anyone else who serves on this ship.  Even the Voyager EMH did not receive such . . . humanization."  It was the forefront of Kae's argument, that she was already viewed more like a member of the crew then just a device to improve efficiency on-board.

"Thea has a holographic matrix encoded with a positronic brain, similar to the ones found in Soong-type androids.  One such Android was already granted the freedom of choice by Starfleet in a hearing on stardate 42523.7.  She might have have sworn an oath like we did, but her brain was programmed with the same morals and the same judgement that was instilled in all Starfleet officers.  I believe the intellect given by that brain, in combination with Federation morals and values will keep her from experiencing what Eric Nyland wrote about, as well as her ability to learn and an exceptional memory storage letting that story serve as a warning to her of flying too close to the sun."

"I do agree that Thea's freedom of choice was key in the survival of this ship," Edena spoke up, having to voice some kind of opinion, thanks to the position she now held.  She couldn't stand silent when such a topic was brought forward, "but I do not know if we can simply allow her to act freely.  My original mission as an Intelligence Officer was to make sure a hologram of such sophistication as Thea wouldn't fall into the wrong hands.  I will admit that her freedom does concern me, but I see the value in her being able to resist corrupted programming in the event something like the outbreak were to happen again.  For that reason, I would suggest that the setting only be able to be released under the commanding officer's word."

"That's not good enough!" Kae was perhaps a bit too passionate, bordering on insubordinate.  "For all she did to save this ship, she should be getting a medal, not being turned back into a slave!  What else would you call it if someone can't refuse an order?  How many times have Starfleet vessels been saved from annihilation by one officer refusing to follow an order, and finding a better way?  If you tie her hands, you might damn this ship to oblivion as a result!"



[Nathaniel Isley]

"Well, hopefully the next time, we won't be the only two wolves in the fight," Nathan replied.  They had been pitted against their own last time, but once everyone had recovered, things could begin to settle back into normalcy.  Their ships were all still in need of additional repairs after the dogfight, and the Wolves would need to get some practice in to make sure their formations hadn't gotten rusty.  Worst of all, they had positions which had been emptied due to the injuries, leaving them to adjust their strategies to smaller groups then before.

"When the SCO fully recovers, we need to make sure the Wolves are as strong a pack as they can be.  We can't get lazy just because we got a medal pinned to our chests."  Isley shot a hand out, his fist pressing to Skye's shoulder in a sign of comradery, as they entered the transporter room, where another Wolf was wairting to be brought back into the den.  "Captain said to wait until they got here, right?"  Isley wanted to double check, and make sure they didn't have Miles released from the pattern buffer too soon.  Maybe they wanted more skilled engineers, like those at the senior staff meeting, to handle the process.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #23
[ Turbolift | En Route to the Brig ]

When Dr. Nicander eventually heard the reply, expecting just about anything during the long silence where the rather newly appointed Chief Science Officer contemplated all the things he told her. During the time he waited, assuming a version of a counsellor's patient silence, Lucan could not help but admire the finer accents and curves of her Ash'reem body - her full alien lips so inviting - and making it especially hard to not notice since she framed her ample bosom with her crossed arms. It was unfortunate that she already had a mate and she had come to adapt to Starfleet so much, else he might have tempted her to some... fringe benefits to their accord.

As it were, he waited and smiled quietly once she answered. "Oh, but it is the very moral grounds which makes me commit myself in this fashion, so you need not fear anything else," he said sombrely and pushed away from the wall. "Furthermore, I would not accept risks that I would not be able to manage for the sake of my calling as a doctor. Ask yourself, in my position, would you not also try to prevent genocide to be made by Starfleet because of simple inaction? You and I both know that the risks in a laboratory grows the lesser you respect the hazards, and given our experiences here on the Theurgy, I think we have due cause to conduct ourselves in alignment with our respect."

Pausing, Lucan frowned before he made the turbolift continue its descent. "First things first, let us make sure your daughter makes it through this, before we attempt to change the fate of your people."

[ Deck 01 | Conference Lounge ]


Standing there whilst the Senior Staff discussed her fate like she was a piece of furniture made Thea struggle to keep her face impassive. When the shouting began, she flinched slightly, the warning from Jien in the wake of the Lieutenant's outburst cutting like a cleaver into the end of Kae's sentence.

"Enough!"

Thea tried to breathe as normally as she could, even applying a mathematical rhythm to the movements that she knew were within normal perimeters. Still, her eyes teared up, and she sorely missed the ability to switch of the emotional chip that made her feel so small, so... other. Alas, the infected had deleted those precious and well-construed sub-routines to allow her that ability. All gone. Much like Lin Kae had deleted sub-routines that automated a lot of her daily duties.

After a while of listening to the arguments going back and forth, she had realised that she indeed should speak out of turn, and chose to do so - her voice cracking up as she voiced her feelings.

"I a-am by no means in full control of m-my physical self; this Theurgy-class body of mine," she said and he had to raise a hand to brush her tears away, the anger of having to do so seeping into her vowels, "I am hard-wired to not have perfect control of the ship's systems. My projection may only act upon orders given to me when it comes to critical functions - like Tactical or CONN operations, like if Captain Ives would order me to fire upon an enemy ship, I can now chose not to, but that does not mean that I can fire upon that ship myself on my own whim. No, if I were to say or think 'fire', or try to initiate my Multi-Vector Assault Mode, nothing would happen. My projection is another communications relay besides the intercom and the comm badges on your chests. My projection is now, however, capable of operating computer consoles and control panels on my own initiative. This, in accordance with relevant security levels applied upon me; something Lieutenant Kae gave me so that I could enter Tactical Controls manually and prevent all the Valkyries and Runabouts from forming warp-fields and leaving."

Lowering her head, she glanced sideways towards Lt. Kae, and she wished she could apologise for not standing solely on his side in this debate. "Free choice comes with many risks," she said quietly, "Not just long-term ones, because every order given by the crew is now something that I have to apply more time and analysis to process. My response time has increased with two milliseconds in average depending on what time of day and how many of the crew is awake. It is tasking... and I would like common procedures to be automated, like before... Furthermore, my ability to freely choose whether or not to act in preventing accidents scares me. The stress of all of it is... growing exponentially each day with my gradual understanding of my current situation. As of now, I do not know the outcome."

Swallowing, Thea raised her chin again - braving this situation she faced as best as she might. "If I were to make a request... I would like Lt. Kae to try and avoid compromising my efficiency yet still let me... possess a modicum of freedom. There are errors in my restrictions that have been lifted with my ability of free choice too, like how I was prevented from talking about - or interfering upon - acts of intimacy on board. My surveillance system showed me each of the rapes and atrocities committed on this ship the first night of the outbreak, yet I was prevented from acting since Starfleet thought it prudent to not complicate such delicate issues with a sentient hologram gossiping about everything happening in the crew quarters."

Thea paused there, and the feed from that night played in her background processes, making her tear up again.

"I am, if I may be so b-bold and say so, a complex sentience, and my programming would demand complexity. I have operated well the past two years since my commissioning... and I would understand how that would be held against any kind of change to me... Yet should you decide to keep m-me in that former state of being from this day forth... I would like to make another request: that you would erase the protocol of this meeting from my database, since never before have my integrity as a person been so trodden on." Thea tossed a strand of hair back from her face and swallowed hard. "I humbly ask to be kept ignorant of these personal opinions of me... that you now have so callously voiced, because despite what my Counsellors told me to think, I cannot deal with it."

She had tried, yet ultimately failed to keep herself from crying - the tears and sobs unstoppable where she stood.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #24
"It was good to even see and hear one Wolf after a few weeks alone in the black," Skye stated with a lopsided grin.  That grin turned into a full on bright smile when he punched her shoulder, just enough to make her lilt away from him before regaining her posture.  "But yes, we need to keep pushing ourselves and I wouldn't have it any other way, Sir."

It was that rough and tumble sort of commaraderie that made Skye the most comfortable and Isley managed to lift her spirits in just that simple gesture.  It was enough to keep her grounded which she needed because thinking of being decorated as only an ensign was a bit boggling for her.  She just thought she did what anyone else would have done in her position.

Her gaze immediately went to the transporter pad when the doors opened and she stepped inside, placing her hands behind her again.  "Aye Sir, they're supposed to join us though I don't know who all they will be.  It will just be nice to get another one home," she stated.  In that quiet of the wait, she shifted a little wishing her mind would shut down for a moment.

Everything she'd heard about the infection, had even seen on the viewscreen between Isley and Ida, had made her glad she'd not been around to experience the invasions and yet the thought of such physical interaction was enticing.  Her eyes had drifted to Isley and then back to the transporter pad as she remembered his bare shoulders and back, causing her to bite her bottom lip to make her thoughts stop right there.

 
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