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EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

[ Tesserarius Lorad | Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen

Lorad waited. Waited for the next round of pain. Waited for the next attempt to stop the Borg nanoprobes coursing through his body from completing their assimilation of him. Waited for his sister to return and shout at him again. He’d gotten pretty good at waiting recently.

He had to give credit to the hybrid scientist, the man had not stopped working since Lorad had first seen many long hours earlier. He’d had injuries treated while he worked, what food or drink he had consumed had been in motion between workstations. Lorad wasn’t sure if it was the Bajoran or Cardassian blood in him that mad him so driven, but he was grateful for it.

But there was one constant that couldn’t be altered. One piece of finality to the puzzle that was removing the Borg nanoprobes from his body without killing him. And that was time. He didn’t have much time left. It was 2230 ship time and Lorad had less than an hour before his assimilation was complete. Gazing down at his arm, he could clearly see the cybernetic pathways that the nanoprobes were laying beneath his skin; skin that was losing what colour it had. Soon, implants would begin to sprout from his skin; he could already feel several places beginning to stretch and bulge from what was beneath them; and the end would be nigh. He’d seen all this before. Once the implants erupted, time was short.

And still the man called Bila worked like a man possessed.

Another wave of pain rose up from within and Lorad was forced to grit his teeth as it cascaded over him; filling his body, his soul, with the signs of his impending fate. The doctor’s had tried with painkillers at first but he had soon passed beyond the safe dosage levels, even with his Reman constitution. Now, all he could do was endure until the wave passed. And try not to hurt himself anymore than he already had. He needed at least one hand to finish the job.

But there was something he needed to do first.

“Bila,” Lorad called out in standard between ragged breaths. “Call Samala please,” he requested calmly. “Time close.”

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

Reply #1
[ Lt. JG Izar Bila |Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy]

He had to save him. It didn't matter how. But he had to save him. He had lost... too many people at that time. There had been too much death. So he had to save that reman. Bila wiped the sweat off his forehead, which left a shapeless stain on the sleeve of his uniform. It was not that his fight against the Borg infection would have been unsuccessful. He had saved people. The ORE had worked in the end. It had saved a few. Kyth... Kyth was alive. But not converted into an unconscious piece of the collective. But as who she was.

Even so, the casualties weighed more heavily on his heart than the triumphs. So he had become obsessed with saving one more, just one more. As if that could compensate for the losses he had taken under his guard. As if he could level the cosmic equation of lives saved and lost. Deep down, however, he knew it was a mere excuse, a way to keep his mind distracted and not think of everything that had gone wrong.

He had entered a maelstrom of frenzied activity, studying, analyzing, testing theories and discarding them. At some point, T'Panu had taken care of his wounds. Bila had simply let her do it, as he went over and over the data he was collecting in Padd and started the same simulation with a new variable. Some time later he had decided to transfer his patient to one of the Xenobiology labs. One that had a containment field. Just in case.

On their way, someone had put something to eat in his hand. Had it been Kyth? Or someone else. He did not know. The hybrid had only had eyes for the Padd and his patient. So he had simply chewed what had been put in his hands and swallowed it. And he had only stopped when he had nothing to eat.

That had been hours ago. And even though he kept moving from one part of the lab to another with the same speed as when they arrived, the exhaustion began to take its toll on him. And the frustration. So far nothing he had tried had worked. NOTHING. And now he was immersed in the delicate work of mining the Romulan nanite programming he had extracted from Lorad. And he prayed to the Prophets that it would work. Because he was starting to run out of ideas. And the reman has no time.

He was so focused on the process that Lorad's voice made him jump out of his chair. He turned to listen to him, black bags under his eyes and grey flesh almost as pale as the reman's. "What? How?" he asked, out of place. It took him a moment, but finally the pieces fitted into his brain. "Ah, yes...your sister...well...maybe... yeah, yeah I guess I should call her," he stuttered, looking at the large fella. He was right, his time was running out. And whatever it was, he deserved the chance to say goodbye.

Bila stretched his sore back, after hours leaning over a microscope or a console screen. His sore vertebrae creaked loudly.  "Computer, locate the civilian known as 'Samala'". The voice of the starship soon arrived, informing him that the woman had her own combadge. The bajcardie nodded, more for himself than for the voice answering him, and inspired deeply. This wasn't going to be an easy conversation.

"Lieutenant Izar to Samala. I need you to come to lab 8 on deck 17. Your brother wants to talk to you."

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

Reply #2
[ Samala & Tesserarius Lorad | Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen

The call had come while she had been dozing, having finally succumbed to the days events and the alcohol she had consumed. While not fully asleep, she had rested enough to refresh herself, at least temporarily. Now, she was quite literally sprint down the corridors of the Theurgy heading towards lab 8 on deck 17. That is where Lieutenant Izar had said her brother was.

Sliding to a stop, her pace almost causing her to overshoot the lab completely, Samala pressed the panel next to the door and a moment later the door was opened to allow her entrance. Her head turning left and right, she moved purposefully through the room until she found her brother at the rear of it, confined in some sort of field or cell.

“Brother, what is this?” Samala questioned in Reman, confused as to what was happening. “Why are you locked up?”

“Samala, sister,” Lorad began slowly in his native tongue, his voice soft as he sat on the floor. “Time grows short for me sister. I asked to be placed in a location where I could do no harm to others should I become Borg before Lieutenant Izar is successful.”

“But they were able to heal the others,” Samala reasoned as her anger bloomed and she whirled on the Bajoran/Cardassian hybrid that was working nearby. “Why haven’t you healed him? What does Starfleet want to take from us now?” Samala demanded in Standard.

“SAMALA!” Lorad shouted, coming to his feet. “That was wrong, sister. Bila has worked tirelessly, relentlessly. They had to treat his injuries while he moved around the lab because he wouldn’t stop. Even when I asked him too.”

“We wouldn’t even be in this mess if it wasn’t for them,” Samala declared, switching back to Reman. And instead of her brother’s agreement of her statement, all she received from him was a sigh. “Brother?”

“There is so much you do not know, sister,” Lorad said, his gravely voice barely above a whisper. “I’m sorry I sent you away Samala, but I didn’t want you to see me suffering. There is so much we need to speak about,” Lorad continued, picking up a PADD that Samala hadn’t seen by his side before. “I have written down everything that has happened to me since I first spotted this ship. The good and the bad and the reasons why I did what I did. I leave you to decide if what I did was right or not.”

“Is this why you brought me here? To say good bye?” Samala asked, her emotions torn between anger and sorrow.

“That and to ask one request of you,” Lorad said, taking a breath before continuing. “I want you to give me our father’s disruptor.”

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

Reply #3
[ Lt. JG Izar Bila | Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy]

The lab door opened and closed with a hiss. It was such a familiar sound, such NORMAL, that Bila simply ignored it, while his eyes kept running across the screen, looking for some mistake.  Besides, he had summoned the reman girl. Or reman hybrid girl. So he kept his eyes on the screen and gave them the little privacy he could give them in the small laboratory. That it wasn't too much.

The chemist tapped onto the console, skimmed through the hundreds of lines of code he had extracted from the Romulan nanites. While trying to make sense of a code that he only half understood, the visitor had reached the contention field and had begun to talk with the patient. Unlike Lorad, who despite the situation in which he found himself had always behaved calmly and speaking in a quiet voice, his sister spoke vehemently, almost screaming. The scientist didn't understand a word of what they exchanged, except for a name here and there. His, among them, but pronounced with a strange cadence.

Even so, when Samala scolded him for not having treated his brother, Bila averted his eyes from the screen and stared at her with irritation, blinking slowly. "Young lady, what do you think I've been trying to do for the last few... ku, I don't even know how many hours? I've been busy trying to heal your brother," he spat bitterly as he rubbed his orbital ridge between his index finger and thumb.

For better or for worse, Lorad seemed to call her to order with a dry bark, and soon they both spoke again in their guttural language, a gibberish almost as complicated as the one parading on his screen.

The chemist took his hands to his face and rubbed his temples, trying to make sense of what he saw.  No matter how much he tried, he couldn't find a place to begin to work. Yeah, the logical functions were very similar to those he had compiled into the modified nanoprobes. But the names of the functions were unintelligible. Bila was good with languages. He was bilingual from his earliest childhood and had learned two more languages  before he was fifteen. And yet the words he saw had no rhyme or reason. 

Bila let out a frustrated snort and took his gaze off the screen to watch the scene unfold just a couple of meters from his workstation. Lorad had stood up and had a padd in his hands. His expression was serious and resigned. His sister, Samala, was distressed, emotions running just beneath her skin. Bila took a deep breath, trying to muster all his courage and declining strength.

"I hate to interrupt you," he finally said with a deep sigh. "But I need someone who can read Romulan."

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

Reply #4
[ Samala & Tesserarius Lorad | Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen

Samala couldn’t quite believe what she was hearing. Her brother, the one single source of strength and family that she had left in the universe, was asking her to help him kill himself. Her mind revolted at the thought of aiding him in such a task but once again, the cold, logical, trained part intruded.

“He sees himself as a threat to me,” Samala reasoned as she stared at her brother. He was standing there, saying nothing after he had made his request but she knew her brother well enough to see the pleading behind the usually emotionless seeming eyes. Eyes that had seen and dealt so much death and destruction, first for the Romulans and then against them, that he didn’t want to risk visiting anymore on her from his own hand. “Even now, he wants to remove a threat to me. The final threat; himself.”

“Brother, what you is not a simple thing,” Samala began explaining, searching for the right words. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the doctor interrupted them, asking if they spoke Romulan. “I can,” Samala answered him before turning back to her brother. “We haven’t finished this.”

“I know,” Lorad bemoaned before sitting back down on the floor and shutting his eyes.

With a last look at her brother, Samala moved around to the console that the doctor was occupying and scanned the screen that he was at. “What do you need help with?"

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

Reply #5
[ Lt. JG Izar Bila | Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy]

For a brief moment, Bila feared that the remans had ignored his request, engaged as they were in their own discussion. But eventually, the young woman replied affirmatively, then spat something out in her harsh mother language. Lorad made a remark, obviously refraining from having an argument with his sister, and then sat down on the floorplates again. From the chemist's point of view, he looked more defeated than when they had been alone. The half-Cardassian could only guess what they had been talking about. He imagined which had been Lorad's stance, because he had seen too many crewmembers in the same situation during the day. And he imagined that his sister was not pleased, neither with the situation nor... with whatever Lorad had told her.

As the girl approached him, Bila couldn't help but perched even more on his stool, his back stiff and rigid. Samala was almost a head shorter than him, but she seemed more than able to reduce him to pulp, chew him, swallow him, and turn him into some kind of organic waste without even messing up her hair or blinking twice. It wasn't an upbeat thought.

However, when the young woman stood next to him, her eyes staring at the screen, she was very eager to help with his request. The scientist rubbed nervously his right orbital ridge and cleared his throat a couple of times before he explained why he needed her assistance. "This" he said scrolling through the long code on his monitor. "It is the code I've extracted from the nanites that I have obtained from your brother's blood. The syntax seems common to the programming softwares I've learned, but the variables are listed in Romulan." He refrained from delving too deeply into how or why Lorad had those nanites in his bloodstream. It was none of his business to communicate those details, in case Samala didn't know about them. "I need to find the header that initiates the neural suppressant synthesis, to override it and introduce a new order of synthesization, which increases the effectiveness of omicron radiation instead of nullifying it, as they seem to be doing so now... if I have understood something in this gibberish to this point," he explained while raked his curly hair with his slender fingers. The tiredness began to take its toll, frustrating him. "I need to reverse the programming as soon as possible or the amount of radiation needed to destroy the Borg nanoprobes and pass over the nanites' activity will be more than enough to kill your brother and all living creatures in two decks around him." he further explained, his voice giving a glimpse of the gravity of the matter. "And I assure you it won't be a peaceful death. Probably he will wish he had been assimilated instead of... Well, you can imagine," he whispered. But he knew that Samala would not imagine what a gruesome death it would be. Alas, neither Bila nor Lorad had to guess about it, since they had witnessed several deaths from omicron over-exposure that very day.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

Reply #6
[ Samala | Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen

“Why would Borg nanites have Romulan code in them?” Samala wondered as she listened to the doctor speak while scanning the code. Computers and their programming weren’t her strong suite by a long shot be she knew enough about them from studying the Apache’s programming know understand the basics. And what she was reading didn’t make sense if these were Borg nanites.

“Firstly, there is no point in whispering,” Samala began after the doctor had stopped. “Both my brother and I can hear your heart beating so whispering means nothing to us. Second, my brother won’t let it get that far. Even if I do not give him our father’s disruptor, he will just use his claws to open the veins in his arms so as to die that way. Slower, but just as effective,” Samala explained point-of-factly. “And lastly, after we are finished saving my brother, someone,” Samala said, her voice both rising and hardening, “Is going to explain why my brother has Romulan nanites in his body along with Borg ones.”

“I am really starting to hate being not told everything or worse, being outright lied too,” Samala mused as her brown eyes returned to the screen and began scrolling through the code, translating it in her head as she went. She didn’t ask why the doctor hadn’t simply run a translation program over the code; code didn’t translate like a language did and the wrong translation could cause more harm than good.

“Take a break Doc, this is going to take a bit,” Samala said to the hybrid trying to save her brother from both the Borg and himself.

“Hey! Wake up,” Samala called out, shaking the doctor’s arm from where he had dozed off. “I found the code you said you needed."

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

Reply #7
[ Lt. JG Izar Bila | Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy]

Bila shook his head, suddenly coming back to the real world. He hadn't realized that he had been staring blankly at the screen for... for how long? He wasn't sure. Maybe and only maybe he had also closed his eyes. Just a moment. To humidify them, of course. It was clear that he hadn't fallen asleep. Of course not. Without being able to afford to waste any more time, the chemist slapped his cheeks a couple of times, ready to listen to Samala's explanations.

The process was long and cumbersome. On several occasions they had to resort to the ship's central computer to make modifications to the UT, and yet the program had to be recompiled several times.  Working with the other hybrid wasn't easy though. She had a very harsh temper, too little patience and too high a level of frustration. He wasn't the kind of lab partner Bila would have chosen, but he didn't have many options available to him.

Finally, after almost an hour of modifying the code, the compilation was flawless and the scientist transmitted it to a modified tricorder, before getting up from the desk and heading to the containment field, with the device in one hand and the ORE in the other. He stopped in front of what, after all, was barely far from a cage to contain a wild animal and looked at the man sitting there. Bila observed him for a minute as he shifted the weight from one foot to the other without hesitating about speaking. The Reman seemed to be coping better with the assimilation than the rest of the humanoids he had treated. Even so, several pieces of Borg technology had sprouted from his skin, he was even paler than when he first saw him, and his skin had a translucent consistency that showed the veins and arteries running underneath, thickened and blackened by the presence of the nanoprobes and the battle against the nanites.

"Ok, listen to me Lorad" he said as he activated the tricorder. The medical device began to buzz in a high pitch, barely perceptible to Bila's Cardassian ears. The chemist began to move the device up and down the Reman's shape, slowly, as if he were scanning him. However, instead of receiving data, what he was doing was broadcasting the new programming to the nanites that were swarming in his system. "This should change how the nanites behave, you'll probably feel a change...a tingling, itching...something..." he kept explaining while he sent the orders to the devices. It soon became evident that, for better or worse, the microscopic machines were reacting, as the veins appeared to change slightly in color. "Well... it seems to work..." he whispered to himself, relieved. His plan seemed solid, in theory, but from theory to practice there were always setbacks. He cleared his throat slightly and proceeded to speak aloud again.

"The only disadvantage is that this will accelerate assimilation slightly, so we are running out of time now," he apologized with a stiff expression. "So it's now or never," he remarked as he made the power field disappear. The semi-transparent barrier vanished. If everything went south, he was dead. "Activate Lab security lockdown," he requested. A metallic whimpering sounded at the lab's front door and a containment field appeared around it.

Bila left the tricorder at his feet and held the ORE with both hands. He introduced slowly the appropriate data for Lorad's physiology and activated the device. The emitter began to hum, at first softly, but the noise increased until it became the roar of a gale. Bila pointed the device towards Lorad and rested his finger on the button that would activate the irradiation. His hazel eyes stuck in the Reman's dark ones.

Bila's hands shivered slightly.

He lowered the device, so that his muzzle pointed to the floor.

"No.... I can't. I can't do it. Not again..."

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

Reply #8
[ Samala & Tesserarius Lorad | Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen

Lorad had sat quietly, focusing on trying to relax his mind and body as his sister had stared at the code for the Romulan nanites in his body. The same nanites that were currently fighting a losing battle against the Borg nanoprobes in his body but were also stopping whatever treatment that Bila had developed from destroying the nanoprobes and saving him.

And he had continued to sit quietly, gritting and grimacing silently through pain wave after pain wave, watching and feeling the Borg nanoprobes slowly win their battle as Bila and Samala worked on altering the code she had found. Not that nanoprobe’s victory was ever in doubt. The Romulans had only wanted to delay the inevitable so they could get something of use. They didn’t care about the Remans they had sacrificed. And so, he sat, silent as a tomb, as they worked. Until they were done.

Bila’s explanation was simple enough to understand. He had altered the programming of the nanites so that his cure would hopefully work on Lorad. But at the cost of increasing the rate of assimilation. And he could feet that. What Bila had described as an itch or a tingle was more like a crawling sensation across his entire body. He felt the skin on his right arm tear in several places as implants erupted from the skin and the vision from his left eye went fuzzy. And then Bila refused to try and heal him. Lorad thought he understood why. The dark-skinned man from earlier that day. It hadn’t worked on him and he had died horribly. But Lorad would accept that death in place of life as a drone.

Standing was painful as his body adjusted. He could feel the nanoprobes coursing through his body, seeking to alter him to accept further Borg augmentation once he had joined the collective. But he would not let that happen. One way or another, Lorad refused too. Stepping forward to the edge of the forcefield, Lorad present the doctor with a clear view of what he was becoming.

“Bila,” Lorad said, addressing the Doctor in Standard. “Shoot me or I will. I not become Borg,” Lorad declared firmly, stretching his vocabulary to the limit as he held up his right arm for the hybrid to see. The hand and forearm was almost fully Borg and the nanoprobes were rapidly spreading up his arm.

“Do it,” Samala affirmed. She would not see her brother become Borg. “It will either kill him or save him. But he dies anyway if we do nothing."

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

Reply #9

[ Lt. JG Izar Bila | Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy]

Bila watched how Lorad rose to his feet, frozen where he was, the ORE loosely held in his hands. It was like seeing Ekon again. Borg implants blossomed on his skin like metallic flowers. The nanoprobes bubbled in his veins, blackening them like the unhealthy infection they were. The eyes that looked at him from the other side of the force field were no longer the same. One was still dark and watched him with that resigned patience with which Reman had observed him since he began to treat his condition. The other... the other stared at him with a frigid, unnatural greenish glow and it made the chemist tremble every time he glanced at him.

Lorad's voice took him out of his perplexed stillness. He spoke in standard, with a strange, deep accent, dragging the syllables with an alien cadence. Still, the message was clear. Bila had to make it. He had to try to heal him, even though he had as much chance of being healed as of being killed. The half-cardassian's hands shook and the device he held rattled.

Samala then moved forward to their position and endorsed her brother's choice. Bila turned to face her, a fake smile hardly etched on his face. Did she really know what she was requesting? Did she know the agony her brother would have to go through, whether he was cured or not? Without being able to avoid it, his gaze shifted to the disruptor that the young woman carried and, for a short moment, he wondered if it would be better, more merciful, just put an end to the Reman's agony and spare him the torment he was about to subject him to. After all... he was helping him because he wanted to save him or he just wanted to show himself that he could defeat the Borg? That he could overcome the creatures that plagued his nightmares?

A chill ran through him once more, which made the ORE resound anew. But this time, another chime followed. A musical jingle. A jangle so familiar that Izar almost forgot about its presence. His d'ja pagh. Had the Prophets sent him a signal?

The hybrid grabbed the device with renewed strength. His eyeridges knitted over his hazel eyes with new resolve. "This ain't gonna be a pleasant trip, buddy. Forgive me," he apologized. The ORE hummed again, like a raging storm. The chemist checked the emitter parameters for the last time.

And activated it.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

Reply #10
[ Samala | Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen

Samala had stood back as Bila explained to her brother what the code would do. She was worried that there wouldn’t be enough time between the dissemination of the code to the Romulan nanites in his body and the Borg nanoprobes completing their assimilation protocols. If they did that, her brother was lost. Of course, delaying only served to increase the chances of that being the likely outcome. And then the doctor had an attack of doubt.

"No.... I can't. I can't do it. Not again..." Bila uttered as he lowered the device that could save her brother. She couldn’t believe it. After everything they had done, now he was having some sort of emotional attack. She was about to have a go at the Bajoran/Cardassian hybrid when her brother began to move in his cell; groaning as he stood.

“By the Pit!” Samala thought as she gasped at her brother’s appearance. He had removed the gloves that he had taken to wearing since their escape; revealing the full length of his arms and the extent of the Borg assimilation on them. Even in the shadows of the cell, Samala could clearly make out discoloured skin and the cybernetic implants that had erupted from his skin on his arms, though the right one was much worse than the left. As her brother stepped forward to give Bila a better view, Samala found herself unconsciously reaching for her father’s disruptor, not even sure if she could use it.

"Bila," Lorad said, addressing the Doctor in Standard. "Shoot me or I will. I not become Borg," her brother declared as he held up his right arm for the doctor to see. Before their eyes, another implant erupted from the skin while the nanoprobes continued their work.

“Do it,” Samala stated as she stepped forward. If you asked her in that moment why she was so calmly adamant, she would not have been able to answer you. Later though, she would come to realise that her next words were the exact truth that she felt in that moment. “It will either kill him or save him. But he dies anyway if we do nothing.”

Bila said nothing as he looked at first her brother, then at her; his eyes drifting down to the disruptor she held. Idly, Samala wondered if the doctor thought she might use it on him but discarded that quickly. It would serve no purpose to shoot him. Bila though, seemed to come to some sort of decision as the hybrid’s eyeridges knitted and his grasp on his device tightened.

"This ain't gonna be a pleasant trip, buddy. Forgive me," he apologised as he checked the settings again. Samala was about to offer some form of platitude to the doctor but none came to mind. And so, she said nothing as the device was activated. What followed, Samala would never be able to forget no matter how long she lived.

It started out calm enough, her brother shivering as the device began its work. The visible implants that had already erupted through his now ashen skin were dissolving away quickly. And for a moment, Samala had hope that the doctor had been exaggerating when he said that it would hurt. But then her brother’s teeth gritted together; Samala able to hear them grinding together before her brother collapsed to his knees on the deck. And then she saw it just as the grinding of teeth was replaced by her brother’s hoarse grunts and screams of pain.

The device was working as she believed it was intended to; dissolving away the nanoprobes and the implants that they had created as it worked its way across his body. But what was left behind, what remained once the Borg’s presence was removed was bare, untouched flesh surrounding where the implants had been. But where those devices had been, open wounds remained; wounds that began to bleed green blood as Bila’s device continued its work ridding his body of the Borg.

Samala could only watch as Lorad’s body fell forward, her brother no longer able to hold himself up through the treatment. Reaching out with his arms to support his bulk, Samala was horrified to watch as his right arm imploded under the impact. His clawed hand splayed in ways not normally physically possible as what remaining shards of bone erupted from either pre-existing wounds left by Borg implants or tore new holes through what remained of the skin of his arm. His screams of pain renewed; her brother flopped over onto his back as Samala was unable to tear herself away from staring at what was happening before her. Rationally, she knew she should be calling for a doctor or making Bila do it but she found that she couldn’t move; she was unable to even turn away as she was forced to bear witness to her brother’s ‘rescue’.

With each passing moment, more of her brother’s characteristic Reman body reappeared from beneath the ashen skin that was a symptom of Borg assimilation. But with it came more injuries and open wounds. Portions of her brother’s once strong and defined torso now began to sag under the weight of the skin above and Samala tried not to imagine what her brother’s insides must be going through this far along the path of assimilation. But she didn’t have to imagine when his left eye literally dissolved in its socket; the liquified remains of it running down his face as Lorad thrashed about in pain. 

Her brother’s left hand came up to press against his head as the last of the Borg’s presence was removed from his body. Samala would never know if she imagined it or not, nor would she ever ask Lorad about it, but she swore to herself that her brother’s remaining eye seemed to stare off into the distance, seeing something that wasn’t there before it was snapped back into focus on her.

And then Bila was finished. Samala wasn’t sure if he said anything at all as she stepped forward, unable to resist the impulse, to stare down at what remained of her brother. Thankfully, she could see his chest moving, clear signs of life remaining in his body even as his head lulled to the side as he passed out. Whirling on the doctor, Samala yelled out the obvious.


Re: EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

Reply #11
[ Lt. JG Izar Bila | Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy]

It was a horrible sight. A painful degradation of what the reman had been, an involution to a mere mournful and mutilated spoil. The chemist wished to avert his gaze. To close his eyes and not see the terrible show that took place in front of him. A circus where he was the ringmaster. So he forced himself to watch. To observe the effects of radiation on a living body. As the structures raised by the nanoprobes collapsed, leaving empty cavities, open wounds, blood... and pain. Lorad was less vocal than Eboh, but it was still easy to guess that the trial wasn't being pleasant, the screeching of his teeth overcoming the ORE's hellish buzz. A part of Bila wanted to stop. Do not prolong his suffering any longer. But if he stopped, if he turned off the device at that moment, all the suffering Lorad had endured would be in vain. So he continued to sweep his battered body with the radiation beam. And internally he raised a prayer for his soul, in case he didn't survive.

When everything was over, the Lab was shrouded in a tense silence. One that looked like it could be cut with a blunt knife. Lorad had fallen to the floor, mutilated, his diminishing forces pouring down his wounds. He was still alive. Bila's unblinking gaze could see a faint tremor in his chest. A slight bloody bubbling on his lips. The scientist looked at him, frozen in place, immersed in the morbid fascination of seeing someone breathe who, by the extent of his wounds, should not be alive. Samala's shout brought him out of his horrified stupor. Bila blinked in surprise, as if he had lost track of where he was or what to do.  With awkward gestures, he brought his hand to his combadge and pressed the device.

"Liutenant Izar to Sickbay. I request a point-to-point emergency transport for a patient. Reman. Complete amputation of one of the upper limbs. Loss of an eye. Severe internal damage, but I cannot determine its extent with a glance. Significant external damage and blood loss. He is a survivor of Borg assimilation treated with the ORE.  Report to Doctor T'Panu for more information about it" he said. Even he himself was surprised at the calm of his words, very different from the agitation he felt inside. Maybe it was tiredness. Maybe it was that it was a professional statement, objective facts. Whatever it was, a few seconds later Lorad's body disappeared from the containment cell surrounded by a swirl of shiny particles.

Bila walked away from the holding cell and headed to one of the laboratory's multiple tables. When he reached the nearest one, he left the ORE carefully on top of it... and then let himself fall on his knees, his forehead resting on the cold surface of the table. He was exhausted. Physically and spiritually. "I've sent your brother to Main Sickbay, you can ask the starship to illuminate the shortest way to reach him." He suggested Samala, his gray face hidden by the unkempt tufts of his dark hair. Doctors might not allow her to be present during treatment, but he knew the young woman would want to be present.

For his part, he just wanted to forget everything that had happened. And probably drink himself blind.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2230] Ticking Clock

Reply #12
[ Samala | Xenobiology, Synthetics & Cybernetics Lab | Deck 17 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen

She didn’t know whether to threaten or thank the man for his work in saving her brother. On one hand, Lorad would surely have died without his efforts and yet given his condition right before he was transported away, Samala also felt the urge to threaten Bila regarding Lorad’s continued survival.

Standing there, unmoved since before her brother’s treatment had begun, she truly felt lost about what to do next. It was highly doubtful that the ship’s medical staff would allow her to be present during treatment. Assuming of course that they did in fact treat Lorad and not just put him into stasis like they had her when she had been transported aboard.

Deciding that she would return to their shared quarters for the moment, Samala was about to leave when she noticed Lorad’s discard gloves on the floor of his cell. They appeared to have escaped the worst of the carnage inflicted upon her brother’s body during the treatment from the man that was now upon his knees on the other side of the room.

Stepping up to the cell, Samala puzzled out how to disable the forcefield before carefully entering the small area and picking up the gloves; all the while being careful to avoid the blood and other things that her brother had shed moments earlier. As she straightened, she saw the PADD her brother had been working on also laying there. Her curiosity got the better of her and she picked it up to see what her brother had gone through while she had been held in stasis, awaiting a treatment that was suddenly given when they needed her help with the cloak they stole from the Apache.

Skimming the words on the screen, Samala couldn’t believe what she was reading. It couldn’t be true. And yet, it was in her brother’s on words. Shaken to her very core, Samala picked up her father’s disruptor and ran from the lab, tears and anger welling up inside her.


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