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Topic: Day 14 [1300 hrs.] With All Due Respect (Read 1011 times) previous topic - next topic

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Day 14 [1300 hrs.] With All Due Respect
[ Deacon | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

It had been nearly two weeks since Theurgy secured safe haven in the Klingon protectorate territories.  Two weeks since they had faced off against the Savi, the Borg and even the forces of the Federation tasked with hunting them down -- an encounter that climaxed with the destruction of subspace at the heart of the Azure Nebula.  Deacon had to admit that he was still thin on some of the details of what had come to pass, but it was not his place to press for such secrets unless his counsel was needed -- which, it was not.  At least, not so far as the officers and command staff went, it seemed.  There was the occasional member of the rank and file crew who might open themselves up to Deacon about some inane issue or another.  Xenia and Taliesin assured him that it was less likely the need to confess and seek divine guidance and more a matter of a cultural practice of opening up to their bartenders.

Honestly, he found that explanation even more insulting, but in the end, he supposed it was a compliment to his talents, that they would feel comfortable enough to open themselves up.  A few had even shown up for his birthday, although he was less certain if that was a credit to him or a desire to seek some relief from the stresses that had dominated the ship for months.

Fortunately, the time that they had spent at Aldea had allowed him the opportunity to assert some much needed order in his life.  Classes in Human culture and the Federation at large had been an almost daily routine -- a much needed distraction that kept his mind occupied, focused.  K'Ren had required some additional procedures to recover from her ordeals so when he wasn't on duty, he hovered close to her to ensure her recovery, a certain reprimand echoing in the back of his mind as he did so, a chastisement given to him following his own surgery not long after arriving aboard ship.

"...But no, here you are! Up and about without giving any care to the fact that I just resequenced almost half of your DNA and reconstructed your lost physique mere hours ago. What in the winds make you think you have the strength to push yourself this way? You should not undergo any strenuous activity for quite some time. Some parts of your body has never been used before, mere constructs summoned out of your genome. Most importantly, you have not given yourself enough time for your body to re-adapt to itself, and the seams of your internal surgery might split at any kind of early provocation."

It had been an unexpected chastisement.  On Homeworld, they could have built a new a new body out of leaves and excrement and he would've been expected to be about his duty the moment he could stand.  It was fundamentally unKzinti to be idle.  All this time later, it was an explanation that came readily to his mind but in the heat of the moment, there was aught he could offer that likely would not have resulted in a greater dressing down.

That was, he supposed, the reason he was so diligent in his own personal healthcare, especially following the Savi, and why he doted over K'Ren's.  It had earned the doctor a certain level of respect that he would unashamedly confront a Kzinti and, more so than being right, walk away unscathed.  In truth, Deacon had wanted to explain his progress to the doctor and had gone several times to sickbay to try and locate him, but after a week of effort, Nicander's current circumstances were made abundantly clear.

And yet, merely writing him off seemed... wrong.  There was no satisfaction that he could not report his progress, could not justify that he had been strong enough to survive.  He supposed it could be an unwillingness to leave a debt unsettled, but whatever the case, it was something he sought to remedy if only for his own sanity.  After a day or two, he had submitted a request to security to see if he might have some time to speak with the doctor -- to possibly bring him a meal, as he would likely be constrained to a replicated diet and that seemed cruel and unusual from Deacon's perspective.  There had apparently been some deliberation regarding the ramifications of allowing a civilian to have access to the prisoner, but Federation compassion seemed to ultimately prevail provided he followed certain regulations regarding inappropriate food items and utensils.  It wasn't an insurmountable series of criteria and Deacon had scheduled a date and time for the meal so that the security team would be well prepared for whatever chaos they were anticipating.

As the lunch shift was coming to a close, he set himself to preparing the meal which consisted of thinly sliced targ from the previous night's dinner, dressed with a matching au jus piled atop a local Aldean bread that was faintly sour with excellent structure.  The humans had nicknamed it Caretaker Sourdough and the term seemed to stick.  An assortment of freshly steamed vegetables complimented the side and a small cup of vanilla panna cotta  drizzled in a compote of seasonal fruits.

If nothing else, he had been quite thankful for his brief excursions to the surface to secure an assortment of ingredients to supplement their stocks.

Assured that the food and plating met all the requisite requirements, he readied the tray and set out for security.  Certainly, it might be appropriate to bring something for the staff, but catering the whole of the department would require a more significant support staff than he currently possessed.  If any of those on duty had objections, he could remedy their irritation during the dinner shift, he was certain.

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #1
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix
Humane treatment was a bliss, and something Nicander hadn't been entirely sure he'd get.

After all, there he was, the sole Infested aboard the Theurgy, which a lot of security processes set up to ensure he wouldn't escape or harm anyone. Yet at the same time, he'd proven himself cooperative and offering intel that might further the mission, so while the initial trepidation towards him made it less likely he'd get anything he asked for, the balance was shifting a bit in his regard when it came to Security's treatment of him.

Of course, having killed three of their friends during the battle with the Rotarran hadn't earned him any favours to start with. It had been a bit of a process to make them realise that it wasn't he who did it, but the thing inside. It was all a bit over their heads and pay grades, but slowly enough they were beginning to see how he was a victim of the enemy's. An innocent and unwilling host that were kept in the holding cell in the case the thing inside him managed to somehow wrest control from him. Time wore on, and it gradually showed that he did not have such seizures and lapses in control. This had earned him a PADD, stand-alone from Thea's network, which he could use for reading, studies, calculations and other entertainment. It had served to help make the days wear on more quickly, while the scientists worked to find a means to exorcise the thing that coiled inside him and whispered into his mind.

Taking a deep breath, Lucan rose from the bunk, stretching and getting ready for some physical exercise - a routine that one of the security guards had helped him with to keep his body healthy and his mind keen. He was just about to remove his uniform jacket and undershirt when he heard the Brig Officer call.

"Doctor Nicander, you have a visitor," said the Ensign at the Brig Control Station.

Curiously, Lucan zipped his uniform jacket shut once more and stepped up to the forcefield. The face that greeted him when it came into view was... familiar, but he couldn't quite place it. His guest looked like an ordinary human at first, and then he saw the tail, which was more than a little bit familiar. He narrowed his eyes a bit, squinting at the face on the other side of the forcefield.

"Mister Xander Maryk? Deacon?" he asked, corroborating the man's facial features with the farsight vision of a man with a tail on that Recycling Platform. Nicander let his hands hang loosely at his sides. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"
  • Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 01:07:05 AM by Auctor Lucan

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #2
[ Deacon | Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

"Mister Xander Maryk?"

If was a greeting that brought a tightness to the corners of his mouth, although he had to admit it was not an unexpected salutation at this point and it was a name he'd been forced to admit himself on more than one occasion.  Still, it sat ill with his upbringing, but at least not to such a degree that he could not overlook it with a sigh.  Plus, he recalled that he had never made a formal distinction between either of his names to the doctor so he should be forgiven his tendency to rely on both.

Releasing a slight breath, he inclined his head, offering his preference.  "Deacon," he stated.  "And I thought it time that you receive a proper meal."  He lifted the tray before him, setting it down in the area designated by the security guard before stepping back to allow for whatever procedure was necessary.  He doubted anything untoward would befall the meal given his proximity and steady gaze -- this had all been arranged in advance and he found most crew members were loathe to indulge in shenanigans while on duty.

Although, he had to admit, he had heard of some exceptions.  Experienced a few first hand no less.  That came from the arrogant belief that they might know more than their Patriarch and having no strength of will by which to directly challenge the Patriarch.  Of course, even among the Kzinti, there was a pecking order.  A freshly trained hunter without a name had no right to raise his claws against the Patriarch -- after all, what honor had he claimed, what following had he secured?  Presumption was the undoing, and chaos sprung wild from the seed of presumption.  Deacon knew this best of all, he supposed.

"I was... concerned.  You had expressed some... displeasure at my level of activity when last we spoke."  It was a challenge to weave the proper phrases at time, even in one of his native tongues, especially when such admissions left a sour taste on his tongue.  "Since then, I have stopped by sickbay several times to demonstrate that your attention towards my care was not taken for granted."

He took a seat across from the holding cell, leaning forward slightly.  "Although I have necessarily been forced to alter your advice given my change in circumstance," he continued, waving his hand before his body demonstrably. 

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #3
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix
While Deacon spoke, Lucan waited for the former Kzin to move on to what he really wished to speak about. He just assumed the man had come to berate him, call him out on his dishonesty about his true natrue - having been afflicted with the infestation of his body by the time he used the DNA re-sequencer in sickbay to save Deacon's life. That he felt stained by the touch of his tattooed hands or some other inane thing on his mind that had come there in person. Passively, Lucan folded his now mismatched hands behind his back and waited for it.

The virus from the Resolve had threatened to kill the Kzin, the reaction far worse than any other of the crew had experienced, and it had been pure fortune in the moment that Thea brought him to sickbay that had let Lucan catch on to the trace human genome that the Kzinti had failed to hide. It had showed him the means to save the hybrid's life, and he had succeeded. The delicate work of altering the chromosomes, and then the breaking down of mater, followed by regeneration of tissues all over the young man's physiology - in an order that didn't threaten his bodily functions. It had been a repetition of what he'd done to Sarresh Morali, only with other DNA and circumstances entirely. He remembered how he'd had to simulate and replace functions using holographic substitute organs during the lengthy process, but in the end, the man - albeit against his consent of the procedure - had been saved. Of course he'd offered surface cosmetic surgery so that the hybrid might see a Kzin in the mirror, but as far as he recalled, Deacon has declined the offer.

Of course, the hybrid spoke of what he'd said to him in Below Decks, when he'd found the man up and about and completely disregarding his post-surgery health. Evidently, Deacon had taken his words to heart, which was far more than other officers might. Especially those Tac CONN jocks. Moronic adrenaline puffs of wind with no direction....

When the silence lingered, Lucan realised that there wouldn't come a rebuttal. No accusation. It made him raise his brows over his pale grey eyes and clear his throat a bit - so unused as he was to kindness. Meanwhile Deacon had spoken, the Brig Officer had activated the Oculus device, which detached itself from the edge of the forcefield and floated out to the place where the food was located. It expanded just enough to let the tray pass through, and Lucan slowly walked over to retrieve the tray - unsure what to say.

"I can imagine so," he said, pulling the tray inside and carrying it to the bulkhead. There, he folded down a small tabletop and a seat, allowing him to place the tray on the table. He glanced towards his visitor again. "Thank you, it looks better than the ordinary things they replicate for me. Much obliged."

He seated himself, and thought of his former patient's circumstances. "I merely have secondary knowledge of the Savi, since their interference - along with the Asurians - are new in this Cycle. The nameless darkness never showed me any instance of them being present in these events. What I have learned is... disconcerting. By the winds, is it true that they were misled by their own ruling caste? A caste the made themselves, equivalent to augments, using other species to further their own biology?"

Perhaps a poor choice of question. It had likely been traumatic for Deacon, being there and having his body altered in a less humane way than Lucan had done it. He supposed he ought to give the man credit for his attention to his own well-being now that he was back aboard the Theurgy. "I am, of course, gratified to see that you took my words to heart, and didn't waste your second chance at life. If Thea hadn't reached you in time, and brought you to me, you would have died the Kzin you were, well before the Savi abducted you." Looking at the food, he realised his error in phrasing it in that particular way. "By the winds, having heard what you've been through, I just hope you don't regret that we saved your life."
  • Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 12:51:27 PM by Auctor Lucan

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #4
[ Deacon | Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

"Well, replicators are... nutritious.  No one ever accused them of being tasty."  Deacon sat quietly listening and watching as Nicander seated himself before launching into a series of questions.  Truthfully, he hadn't been prepared for such a change of topic.

The corners of his mouth tightened with irritation as he considered the Savi, flexing the claws on one hand reflecting on what they'd done. Slowly, his gaze returned to the doctor who lingered on his question.  "Yes.  There was a... servitor subspecies who would likely have been eliminated over time as the ruling class swelled its ranks.  Well, I suppose they might have lived in a far more menial capacity, if the scions saw themselves above such tedium."  Augments did not have such a foul reputation among the Kzinti... after all, Kzinti were an augmented species with centuries or more of genetic manipulation in their history.  "I've yet to decide whether they are monsters or fools for following this so-called Code of theirs.  It is logically flawed at its base -- the resources required to remap someone's genetic sequence is no small effort, but to wipe away any memory whether biological or artificial, and invent a new identity with enough precision so as to go unquestioned...?"

Deacon's tone was perhaps a touch heated.  It was a topic that had likely preoccupied him to some extent.  But at last he shook his, head, holding up a free hand as to push the topic aside.

"I am, of course, gratified to see that you took my words to heart, and didn't waste your second chance at life. If Thea hadn't reached you in time, and brought you to me, you would have died the Kzin you were, well before the Savi abducted you.  By the winds, having heard what you've been through, I just hope you don't regret that we saved your life."

"I am... grateful that you and Theur... Thea..." he forced himself to say, remembering that it was the name she had elected and he could at least do her that courtesy... "saw to my care.  When I came aboard, I had no one.  I had left the only life I knew behind on Homeworld.  Had I gone to the Eternal Hunt that night, I would not have been shocked."  Disappointed, perhaps, but that had more to do with him than anyone else, and it was not a subject he was overly comfortable broaching to others.

He held up a finger.  "But, I did not want you to think that I had ever disregarded your advice.  Kzinti find it... unnatural to remain idle for prolonged periods.  True, we do appreciate our leisure periods.  But missing three limbs and half my organs, I would have needed to find some activity to occupy myself or risk dwelling in my invalidity.  We are a species that thrive on our accomplishments and, frankly, whither with inaction."

With a breath, he continued.  "I suppose I should have explained that when we spoke.  Well, at least one of the times.  I have been.... working to be more open in that regard.  I... cannot assume who has the clearance to know what little there is to know about my people."

Motioning towards the plate, he added, "Do you like it?  I never got the opportunity to investigate Câroon dietary standards so, I am hoping they are not overly disparate from Human."
  • Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 10:36:51 AM by steelphoenix

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #5
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix
Hearing the explanation about Kzinti culture when it came to recovery and idleness, Lucan may have nodded, but still thought himself to know better what Deacon's body had needed at the time. He understood the man's position on the matter, of course, and it said a lot about the feline species that he hadn't known about. Such barbarism, and lack of care for their own.

He made no comment on it, the topic having run its course already, but he readily answered Deacon on the question about the meal he'd been served, just finishing chewing his third bite before she spoke. "I have not had real targ in ages, and with the complementary vegetables and juices, I couldn't be more grateful."

It hadn't been until the second bite that he had identified the meat, and it made him wonder... Where might the Theurgy have access to fresh targ after having escaped the Azure Nebula through the second aperture? Surely that meant that they were in the Alpha or Beta Quadrant still? The alliance struck with High Chancellor Martok in the battle against the Borg Queen, had it survived the fallout? Did the might of the entire Klingon Empire stand against the Infested? Perhaps he read too much into it. Perhaps the Theurgy had managed to come across fresh Targ by some other means?

How, though? He found it unlikely that they would send people down to some Klingon planet just to hunt for targ and restock food supplies, since they did have replicators for a reason. Frowning, he pit his eating utensils down, and ran his tattooed hand through his hair, feeling how his heart was beating more quickly, realising that he had just learned something he shouldn't have, and that it might jeapordise the Theurgy a bit.

I can feel it, watching through my eyes... Pinching the bridge of his nose, he stilled his thoughts, not wishing to lash out against the Kzin for this error. It was the Brig officer who hadn't thought to screen what he'd been given to eat. He forced himself to smile, and hoped that what he'd learned hadn't become knowledge of the Infested. Like with the anyon emissions and the Radiant bioluminescence, Lucan hoped it would require another use of his farsight to let the parasite presence inside him commune with the nameless darkness. How else could the Theurgy have managed to hide from Sankolov? Surely it requires more than just my knowledge...

He forced himself to answer Deacon, hoping the lapse and silence could be seen as an emotional response to the taste of real food. "I don't know if w-we tend to eat like Humans might, but we do have some dishes that are a bit reminiscent of what I sampled at the Academy on Earth. Like renklamma, for example, it has tender meat from the animal that is its namesake, and we do tend to serve it with an array of different vegetables. Fruits and beans grown on the slopes of Envon, some of them mixed into a tangy sauce. We usually wash it down with makmyra, a drink made from fermented olives and grapes from the Wind Region, and you will likely think its a spicy wine. I hear Humans think it is good, if a bit high on alchohol."

Lucan paused there, and couldn't help but look at Deacon curiously, all the while trying to push aside the knowledge of what he'd just deduced, and what it might entail for the mission.

"I wonder... You come here, and yet you must know what's happened to me. Does it not bother you?"
  • Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 11:48:28 AM by Auctor Lucan

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #6
[ Deacon | Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

As Nicander reflected on the cuisine of his homeworld, Deacon nodded quietly, making a mental note to look into possible recipes for future.  "It sounds like something the humans call chutney," he stated, rubbing his chin, "but I'll make sure for next time.  As for the... makmyra...I'll have to rely on Taliesin for that.  I've come to the conclusion that I've no real tongue for alcohol... at least not without considerable effort to disguise the flavor."  His expression screwed with distaste, his recollection of the one night he actively sought to intoxicate himself still bitter in his mouth.  If not for the Klingon's quest to enjoy sweets, the night might otherwise have ended considerably less pleasant.

"I wonder... You come here, and yet you must know what's happened to me. Does it not bother you?"

Deacon sat back and considered.  Did it bother him?  Clearly not, at least no more than his own conscience had troubled him, but admitting such was a sign of selfishness and he questioned whether this was an instance where he might disclose too much truth.  Skewing his jaw slightly, he gave voice to the 'happening', "They say that you are one of these... Infected."  Setting his eyes on the doctor once more, he continued, "And you attacked some of the crew."  He held up a finger, "But since your apprehension, you have cooperated to better our situation.  That much speaks to the now."

His statement was accurate but did not convey the quintessence of his point.  "They say Câroon cannot be read telepathically."  If it was a simple matter of extracting the gene necessary for that gift, the Kzinti would descend on them like locusts.  Well, there was also the matter of the treaty with the Humans, who would likely take issue with such acts... although the Patriarchy seemed to care less about such considerations as months passed.  "But ziirgah isn't just... telepathy.  It's reading scents, tone, tension, mannerisms.  It's not flawless, but it usually gives us some hint when we should feel threatened."

His gaze locked on the doctor's.  "I have not felt threatened by you, doctor."  It was a statement that would likely lead to combat if stated to another Kzinti, or maybe even a Klingon... Nausican, Jem'Hadar... but Câroon?  He was uncertain how it would be taken.  "Shamed, perhaps," he added, thinking back to the dressing down, "but not threatened.  And your current actions strike me as someone that is far from committed to the extinction of the crew."

Of course, that wasn't to imply that he had any particular talent to empathically read the doctor.  But such was a combination of ignorance as to the nature of Câroon, a true lack of any perceived threat and a self-assurance that his particular senses were superior to those of any other.

There was more, however.  He'd merely touched on the most tangible and immediate of the potential threat and perhaps the doctor sought a more esoteric response.  "That aside, none of us lives forever.  If these... parasites were to end my life, then they only expedite that which awaits all mortals, but they are nothing before the Fanged God and in His service I shall earn my place in the Eternal Hunt."  With a tilt of his head, a smirk tugged at the corner of his mouth.  "If you continue to defy them, I am certain He will honor your tenacity with a proper place in the Hunt as well."

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #7
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix
While Dr. Nicander had little to no references to what the Kzin spoke of when he mentioned the Hunt and all that, he did have adequate knowledge to recognise how his former patient had other means to judge the extent of a threat that Lucan represented to him. Felnoids had great senses, but the question was if they could sense extra-dimensional intents.

Unlikely, but be that as it may, it did suggest something that the interrogators from the other day had not been willing to readily accept, that he - as a host - had meant them no harm. Since Starbase 84, when the Radiant had restored sanity to his mind, he had actively worked in favour of the mission. While he had done so, he may not have advertised what he carried or the threat he represented, but the Kzin had sensed how he while in his full faculties had not meant him any harm. He almost asked the proprietor of Below Decks to speak with Commander Ducote and Captain Ives, but refrained, since he hardly thought it would make any difference.

"Infested," he corrected mildly in the end between bites of the food, "yet semantics aside, the rumours are correct, only such seldom delve into the true circumstances of things. Hearsay tend to travel faster when detailed at face value, and oft grow more exaggerated. That being said, I was mortally wounded when the Savi attacked the ship, which made the thing inside me take over fully - keeping me alive but also suppressed 'me' completely. Only when Doctor Tyre, Rez and others restored my body could I resume control. Later, when I woke up, the ship was threatened, so I used an ability that my parasite-self had used. I believe it has been coined 'farsight' at this point."

Drinking from his glass, Lucan soon continued. "I was able to see through the eyes of another Infested. Doing so, I could espy the shield harmonics of the IKC Rotarran - someone like me being right behind High Chancellor Martok on its bridge. I told Commander Wenn Cinn, and then, the middle section of this ship - where we are now - could cause enough damage to the Klingon ship so that we might get away."

Frowning, Lucan looked towards the deck for a moment. "The problem was that... using the Farsight, you can't stare into the darkness without letting it blind you. Momentarily, the parasite had control of my actions, filled me with its rage... razed all control. So, when Doctor Maya tried to defend me against three armoured security officers who misinterpreted the situation, them believing that I was giving our shield harmonics to the Klingons instead, I was not myself. They struck her down... and I... I could not stop me from tearing into them."

Self defence? Hardly, not with such excessive force. If he had been able, he'd only protected himself and rendered them unconscious. No, seeing Maya on the deck had sparked something. A memory... of Kisane, and how he'd been too late to protect her. The nameless darkness had just fanned the flames of his rage, and scorched any hope for his redemption.

"When I... could calm down, it was too late. The three were dead, and I had unconcious Maya in my lap. I could determine that she'd survive, before she was beamed out of my reach. I have not seen her since, but I have heard she serves aboard still. If I may ask a favour... I would be grateful if she was given my regards, and my gratitude for protecting me back then. In fact, she ought to earn the gratitude of the entire crew that served on this Vector that day."

Slowly, Nicander picked up his eating utensils again with his mismatched hands, his frown still prevalent. "By the winds, it is such a shame that rumours tend to muddle the waters, and the truth is dampened by fear for the unknown. I thank you, Deacon, for not being one of those who give into fear. I believe this ship's dedication has something to say about that."

OOC: Perhaps Kaeris has arrived already and been listening from the front of the brig, waiting for his turn to approach? Up to you!
  • Last Edit: November 23, 2019, 12:45:16 PM by Auctor Lucan

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #8
[ Deacon | Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

Infected. Infested. Human words were too similar at times and too convoluted at others.  It was a term implying a diseased affliction requiring a form of cure.  Deacon's lips tightened slightly.  In this, the Heroes' Tongue was far more concise.  A term meant a term and seldom anything else.  Had his ears retained the capability, he'd likely have folded them back but as he was, they remained steadfastly affixed and immobile.  Still, the doctor's confession did give him moment to pause as he considered them.

He rubbed his chin.  "In such case, I would be averse to allow myself such an injury."  The statement was hardly enlightening, and he didn't expect it to be.  "But, failing that, may I recommend that sometimes it is easier to bend the rage than avert it?"  Arching an eyebrow, he proceeded.  "Speaking as an outside observer, I can't say I understand exactly what you might experience in such a moment or how much control you might assert, but I find it common that deprived of control, most attempt to either dam the flow of the river, or take their hands from the rudder and cease all effort.  Instead, find what you can control and focus your efforts there.  If the creature within you is angry, perhaps it needs a more appropriate target.  If it's hate is universal, why should it care if it annihilates a mutual enemy?"

Deacon had to admit, it was an interesting puzzle to consider, but for all the acclaimed loyalty of the Black Priesthood to the Patriarch, their unwavering loyalty was to the continuation and flourishing of their people.  This was not a topic discussed outside of the confines of the brotherhood but it was the basis of the argument he presented.  The Patriarch ruled, but within that rule, the Black Priests had centuries of experience manipulating the true power and eliminating threats behind the scenes, even if that threat was the Patriarch himself at times.

He frowned slightly at that thought.  It lead to another hole he did not wish to explore at this moment.

"Have you ever... spoken to this thing inside you?  I've heard rumors that these are agents of chaos and yet this seems a rather ordered way to behave."  Sitting back, he gave a distant look, considering.  "If there were some way to give it a... a voice, so to speak.  Not yours, but independent.  There might be some common ground if not with the entire species, then perhaps with that one alone.  Consider that peace with the Klingons was unfathomable years ago... and now there is an alliance.  Romulans?  Cardassians?  The Dominion?  I have heard tale that even the Borg had negotiated under the right circumstances."

Taking a breath, he held up his hand somewhat apologetically.  "My apologies for speaking out of turn.  Again, it is my nature.  I am a priest, after all, and 'infested' or not, you are still part of my pride and thus it is my focus to have a care for your well being.  The rest of it I leave as an offer, not a requisite."  His eyes shifted slightly to the right, his nostrils twitching slightly as he rose to stand.  "In the meantime, I have a class to attend.  Terran history.  Kzinti aren't particularly impartial on education pertaining to the Federation, so, as the humans might say, I'm expanding my horizons."

He tilted his head.  "I'll see if I can fit in a course on Câroon cuisine before next time."  Clearing his throat, he added, "And you appear to have another visitor."

[ Lt. Cmdr. Vael Kaeris | Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

Vael had to admit he was more than a little curious when the guard on duty stated that the doctor already had a guest.  The brig seemed hardly an ideal space for such activities and given the circumstances he had witnessed in the past due to the doctor's past interactions, there was a slight apprehension as to what he might walk in on and why the guards seemed so uninterested in the exchange in progress.

As the door opened, he spied what, at first, appeared to be a large Vulcan male if not for his more relaxed appearance, cat-like tail and lithe movements.  The corners of Vael's mouth tightened almost imperceptibly.  Not Vulcan.  Almost Human.  This appeared to be the proprietor of the lounge area on Vector 3.  If not for his own assignment as the science officer of that vector, he might not have memorized the crew manifest as yet, given his particular focus.  A civilian -- half Human and half Kzinti, as he recalled, clearly the subject of manipulation from the Vigilants of Sa. 

Fortunately, the proprietor's expression appeared stoic, almost congenial, although a touch irritated at his own unannounced arrival.  "I was unaware that the doctor had a guest," he admitted.  He was frankly unaware that Lucan cin Nicander was entitled to guests under the circumstances, but at least they weren't the midst of a tirade pertaining to prior interludes of lust.  He supposed he could be thankful for that.

With an inclination of his head, the proprietor excused himself, slipping past Vael and departing the brig area.  Vael raised an eyebrow to the doctor, inviting an opportunity for explanation without the awkwardness of a potentially unanswered question.  True, he was curious.  He was always curious.  But such idle gossip was something he did not indulge in while on duty, and unless the information was voluntarily disclosed, it was not something he was inclined to pursue.
  • Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 07:39:51 AM by steelphoenix

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #9
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix
What Deacon spoke of was entirely circumstantial and Lucan finished his meal while the lounge proprietor made his suggestion to try and direct the influence of the parasite.

"As much as it can be controlled, I have, sparing many lives in doing so," he said, and shrugged with one shoulder as she put his eatings utensils back on the plate. "Yet you speak of directing damage, and I am a Starfleet officer as well as a Doctor. I really shouldn't indulge any such notions, beneficial as it could be depending on circumstances. I... think I see what you are suggesting, but my experience says it's not a reliable solution. There can't be any peace, that much is certain, and as for any vestigial order they maintain, it's provided by the hosts alone. Without the hosts to direct and arrange for sequential events, the darkness just corrupt and consume in its insatiable need to for more."

Lucan had smiled and inclined his head when Deacon excused himself. "Thank you, it would be my priviledge if you could make something native to my people. Good luck in your class."

Then, another man appeared outside the forcefield, and Lucan rose to his feet. "Commander Kaeris! What a delight, how goes the research?" he asked, and then realised that the Bactrican had glanced towards the retreating figure of Deacon. "Ah, yes, an old patient of mine, grateful that I saved his life."

Lucan walked to the forcefield, eager to hear what brought the scientist back to the Brig.

"Pray tell, have you found a way to deal with our precarious little situation? I remember you had plenty of alternatives to pick between."

OOC: With the lack of further dialogue from Vael I figured this was an ideal place to stop it, since i don't want to put words in his mouth. :)

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #10
[ Lt. Cmdr Vael Kaeris| Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

Straightening himself, Vael inclined his head towards the doctor, demonstrating the ever present PADD in his hand.  "There are several research vectors currently underway relegated to separate teams so that there is no critical linchpin that could jeopardize the progress or results," he noted, skimming across the notes on his screen. He'd recommended that such precautions were necessary when faced with an enemy simultaneously as potentially interconnected as the Borg with a malfeasance that far exceeded them.  "For your protection and ours, I am unable to disclose the extent and nature of them all."  Truth be told, even he wasn't privy to them all.  In his position, he did oversee several, but the true executor was the one that held the position he'd once held on the Endeavour.

The obvious, this, too, was not something to which he was ready to admit.  "That said," he continued, "there are certain projects that cannot readily proceed without some level of participation on your behalf."

He arched an eyebrow to gauge Nicander's response -- something he knew he could hardly take for granted. 

"What I would like to do is to find a better target range for anyon exposure.  I propose initiating a limited anyon sweep with a minimal particle per second strength and gradually increase the sweep until the point it becomes, if you'll pardon the term, uncomfortable."  He paused, lifting his gaze, clarifying, "Merely uncomfortable.  Not life threatening.  The ideal is to establish the lowest possible threshold and, ideally, if we are able to determine the exact biological source of that discomfort, that might give us some insight to focus our scans for future."

Folding his hands behind his back, he inclined his head, "Your participation is wholly voluntary, of course."
  • Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 06:21:01 PM by steelphoenix

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #11
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix
Hearing that the science team was conducting several differing efforts to address the threat to the ship and the Federation, Lucan nodded, being quite pleased about to know that. Moreover, he was impressed with the prudent precaution to not tell him everything. If only the lounge proprietor had thought of that before he brought me the Targ...

"By the winds, pray tell," he said in comment to what Kaeris mentioned about science ventures that required his direct involvement. "I will help anyway I can." He decided to hear the man out before he told him about what he'd just learned from Deacon, not about to hide his knowledge any more since it might jeopardise the mission. Indeed, it would be prudent if Security were told to screen what he was brought at all times. They had to foresee things like the food brought to him might help him deduce where the ship was at.

While the Bactrican spoke, Lucan couldn't help but admire the man's appearance, having an exotic quality akin to his own, only being far different from any Câroon. Idly, he thought of this, but his main attention was directed towards the science venture that Kaeris was working on. The anyon emissions, and narrowing the emissions down to what phase variance in which the parasites could be found. It was deeply worrying, what the man suggested, but Lucan wouldn't dismiss it right away. There were merits to the knowledge gained, only the risk to his person was something that had to be prevented somehow. As a medical officer, he considered the ramifications, slowly pacing his cell. Deep in thought, he removed his uniform jacket and laid it across the fold-out chair attached to the wall. He hiked up his sleeves from his mismatched hands while his brow was furrowed in thought, and put his hands on his hips.

"The anyon emission bring the entity into our present phase variance, meaning that even in the lightest degree, the thing will enter our present reality, and risk fusing with my internal organs. I am not entirely sure how much of a gradual development that would be. Could I even sense a growing discomfort before the fact?" Frowning, he shook his head, even though he didn't dismiss the notion entirely. "I would rather not rely on my limited sense of well-being, this sense of discomfort. Many reasons for that, actually. The sudden pain might disable me to stop you. It might render me unable to talk. I would rather have a tricorder scanning me through this process, so that it might detect the development before the damage to my insides become irreversible."

He knew that if there were to be any chance of learning exactly in which phase variance the parasites existed, he had to volunteer, but he'd rather be on the safe side when it came to his survival. "Question," he said, raising his pale grey eyes to the comely alien outside the forcefield, "how do you mean to apply the knowledge of the phase variance? Already the anyon sweeps cover all variances in every airlock and transporter room, preventing the ship from being infiltrated. What will the results help you with? That is, if you feel it prudent to tell me."

Deciding that before they got into too much detail, he had to tell the man what Security had failed with. "Oh, before I forget, would you please tell the Deputy and your friend - Akoni - that their officers need to be more diligent in their screening of things the crew bring me? I would not fault the lounge proprietor since he wouldn't know better... but he just brought me non-replicated Targ, which tells me far more than I care to know about where the Theurgy is at."

Having addressed that embarrassing fact, Lucan ran his tattooed hand through his hair, and took a deep breath. "In any case... I accept, but with great trepidation.... and a request to have a medical officer present - lest you feel comfortable with that duty yourself, of course. See, I... understand how this might be necessary, but I'd rather be safe than sorry."

Funny, how he felt he could trust Kaeris, whereas other officers aboard had been either abrasive, moronic or a mix between the two. With this Bactrican, and the way he had focused on the important matters during that bygone hearing, Lucan felt that he had the science and the research at the forefront of his priorities... instead of the need to prosecute him over non-essential transgressions. Since Lucan got his sanity back at Starbase 84, the mission had been his guiding wind, regardless what some of the crew might think.

Agreeing to this, and what danger it represents to me... will they finally understand?

By the winds, he would just have to hope the Bactrican knew what he was doing...

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #12
[ Lt. Cmdr Vael Kaeris| Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

The doctor made his objections to the examination, although his reasons were wholly sound and not out of some misguided belief that he was here to mutilate him in some method more akin to body horror than modern medicine.  Vael nodded.  "You are correct, doctor.  I did bring my medical tricorder," he offered, presenting the device from the pocket of his labcoat.  True, the coat was more customary for a practitioner of the medical arts, but that was his first specialty before he had looked to expand his scientific expertise.  "During the war, I served for several years as a field medic on the Bajoran front lines.  While hardly the most illustrious posting, I do try to keep the lessons I learned there at the forefront of my mind in any proposition such as this."  It was hardly bragging, merely a statement of fact honestly meant to allay the doctor's worries, but his tone was as dry as ever and it was something he was frequently aware of in his dealing with non-Bactricans.

Holding up a finger, he added, "That said, your observation is duly noted.  As I would be focusing on the anyonic field intensity, it would behoove us to have another more focused on any unintentional biological anomalies.  Fortunately, we have candidate who I believe is uniquely qualified for such."  Tapping the badge on his chest, he proceeded, "V-Nine, your assistance is requested in the Security Center at your earliest opportunity."

Returning the tricorder to his pocket, he considered the doctor's next question for a moment, weighing the pros and cons of disclosing the procedure he was considering, but ultimately he resolved that there was precious little that could be done to sabotage the effort under the circumstances and the occasional full disclosure might go a long way towards reassurance.  He nodded his head slightly.  "If we are able to narrow down a sufficiently precise anyonic variance, I propose that we use it in conjunction with a unique transporter lock-on and, to put it in layman's terms, beam the two of you apart.  Applying the anyonic phase variance to the secondary confinement beam should allow us to withdraw it from you in a way that we can disable weaponry or filter out certain pathogens."

If what he proposed worked, then it was a simple matter to disseminate the technology and procedure to their allies, such as they were, and it would give them a very tangible, very obvious subject to examine-- and that, frankly, was what appealed most to Vael.  And truth be told, this remained highly academic until they had a physical specimen in front of them.

Nicander then brought another small matter to Vael's attention, asking that he in turn bring it to Security.  Another sign that he was committed to this endeavor of cooperation.  The proprietor had brought non-replicated Targ.  Vael could see how such information could be taken as a sign to narrow their field of safe havens.  "Targ?   We encountered a small Orion trading outpost and secured some supplies.  As I understand it, he had been less than pleased at the ship's reserve of fresh stocks.  Possible they had conducted some trade with a Klingon house and picked up some targ in the process.  I wasn't part of the trade discussions."  He rubbed his chin as he considered, "I can only imagine what that cost him, but Kzinti intelligence is worth more than latinum to the right party, I suppose."  Falsification of disclosures was another talent imposed upon members of the royal house, after all, the best interest of the people was not always full disclosure.  Lies and fabrications could paper over the cracks, at times, forcing the Emperor's narrative such that to hear a thing entices people to hold a thing true, and by holding it true, the lie becomes reality.  The other use for such deception was in the course of misleading those who might seek to profit from interrogations, kidnappings, chaos.  Vael had learned from a very young age that some prevarications were necessary for the greater good.  Holding up his finger once more, he continued, "But, I will make sure to mention your concerns to Lt. Commander Akoni."

Folding his hands and PADD neatly behind his back as he waited, he added, "You needn't worry overmuch about the targ being indicative of our course.

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #13
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix
While Kaeris spoke of the Targ, Lucan had only been listening with half an ear - preoccupied as his mind was with the proposed method of separation.

Admittedly, Lucan was not a good enough scientist or engineer to say whether the second confinement beam might actually lock onto the parasite, having little-to-no experience with the theory or technology involved in such a feat. Of course, he knew as much as the next Starfleet officer that attended the Academy, having learned the gist of it all, and from what little he recalled... the proposed method did have more solid basis in actual science than the rather arcane idea that a certain type of species' bioluminescence might stand in direct counterpart to the nameless darkness that sought to swallow everything - the Great Attractor that seemed to pull whole galaxies into itself like a black hole. Given the fact that the Radiant had been corrupted by alien DNA by the Savi abductors, what Kaeris suggested seemed a more direct manner of approach than just hoping that the transphasic light wavelength could be discovered, and that it would be enough to permanently dispel the darkness that resided within him. Another merit with Kaeris' method was - of course - that if separated, the parasite might be studied.

The problem, as Lucan saw it, was that while the research into the transphasic wavelengths of light that some other scientists were working on might be more humane towards him as the host, with little risk to his person, the reward was higher if they could actually isolate the anyonic wavelength... and make the second confinement beam actually isolate the parasite.

What made Lucan focus on what Kaeris said about the unfortunate Targ incident was how the man was either a good liar, or he was telling him the truth. Regardless what he thought, knowing already that they had found safe port somewhere from the first hearing he'd undergone, he chose to try and believe the Bactrican since he didn't like knowing more than he ought to. "Very well," he merely said, glad that the scientist knew the current Chief of Security from the Endeavour.

"I have not heard of this medical officer that you called for," he said, thinking a bit on what that implied. "Could this be the one that the Savi gave to us, as some kind of means to undo what was done to the abductees?"

Hearsay, mostly, and since he used to be the Chief Medical Officer, he knew all the people in Sickbay - lest they were new, of course.

"I must admit... I fear that if this proposed experiment manages to isolate the anyonic phase variance, and the shift is not gradual enough to prevent internal damage, that Targ might have been my last meal," he said, frowning. He began to pace slowly again, his mismatched hands before his chest as he'd crossed his arms. "If this V-Nine can't treat the damage done, it could be that the parasite might save my life instead... but then I might suffer the same fate as I did when I was shot, and I couldn't stop it from taking over my mind - suppressing my current lucid state. Perhaps...."

It ought to work, what he was thinking. Surely the readings on the tricorder won't need me to be awake?

Lucan sighed, and looked at Kaeris, his pale grey eyes catching the overhead light of the holding cell. "Perhaps it's best you sedate me for this, and you do so with enough anaesthesia to keep me immobile even if the thing inside takes over. My medical journal should show the dosage used during my surgery. You have my permission to access it, on authorisation Nicander-Alpha-Niner-Epsilon... if that authorisation is even valid any more. Either way, as a patient, I consent to your access."

In part agitated over how he might not wake up as himself any more, if at all, he was also hopeful, and the implications of what was due made his tattooed hand shake when he ran it through his unkempt hair. There was a saying about fear that he ought to take to heart for what might come, but there was one last concern he should raise while they waited for the Savi doctor. "I take it this has  been sanctioned by Commander Martin, Ducote or Ives, prior to you coming here? It's not like I consider myself too important for this procedure, by the winds no... but I would hate if you got yourself into trouble on my account. The ethical ramifications of this test, and the risk to me, are grey at best. I'm only consenting to it since I find merit in your theory."

As he said this, Lucan removed his undershirt as well, leaving him bare-chested for the doctor to get the any kind of access needed if things took a bad turn.

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #14
[ Lt. Cmdr Vael Kaeris| Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

The doctor seemed both hesitant and eager to proceed.  It was not an uncommon disparity of responses, often being witnessed in those advised of a necessary surgical procedure. Even with the advances of modern medicine, Vael had often noted how so few were simultaneously willing to be done with the process and yet reluctant to allow its initiation in the first place.  It was a fascinating dichotomy that he presumed to be driven by emotion as species such as the Vulcans seemed for more even handed in their responses.

"Yes," he replied to the inquiry regarding V-Nine's status.  "That is my understanding.  I believe in this case should would be uniquely qualified to identify any genetic or biological tampering and prevent any harm from befalling you while the examination is in progress.  With regards to the abductees, it would seem she has already tended to those who wished their conditions reverted."

He inclined his head as the doctor went on to express his concerns.  They were not wholly unfounded.  This was an untested procedure and other than their rapt attention, diligence and promise to do him no intentional harm, there was aught that he could give that was little more than lip service, and Lucan cin Nicander seemed the type to be ill-receptive of false assurances.  "Doctor, I want you to be as comfortable as possible.  We can administer a short term paralytic to prevent any major muscle control but heavy anesthesia may delay our response to any adverse conditions the result from the anyonic phasing."

After a moment, though, he brought up the record the doctor had indicated.  "However, as your comfort is important in this.  We will simply have to monitor for artificial nerve stimulus, which should still biologically happen even if the sedative would prevent your subjective registry of such input."  He reviewed the file, setting aside notations the doctor had made regarding medications necessary to enact the condition he desired, sending a message to V-Nine to ensure that she brought a sufficient dosage of the compound with her.

When Nicander voiced his final concern, Vael nodded his head.  "Commander Ducote is aware and has authorized the procedure subject to your agreement to participation.  I would not proceed with anything less, doctor.  There are other methods by which this process may be conducted however they are significantly slower and introduce more unforeseen variables that need to be addressed.  As our only cooperative host, it unfortunately falls to you to potentially shoulder the burden of shortening some of these studies, but I have no desire to harm you for the sake of scientific expedience."

He noted the doctor's state of undress but thought it unwise to proceed with V-Nine's presence so that she could have a clear baseline to work with, stepping to the replicator instead.  "Gao Shan, hot.  Two cups, please," he instructed, two tea cups manifesting in the receptacle a moment later, a pleasant floral steam drifting up from both.  Lifting one for himself, he held the other out for the doctor, slipping in through the breach.  "An earth drink," he said.  "We have similar teas on my homeworld but I find this one settles the nerves and allows for calm introspection."  Taking a sip from his own cup, he gave an approving nod.  "Still, nothing compares to freshly brewed, but we've yet to happen across a tea trader and the crew does seem inclined towards more inebriating fare when the topic of beverages is broached.  Well, that or coffee, I suppose."
  • Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 07:40:19 AM by steelphoenix

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #15
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix
At least the new First Officer had respected his consent to the procedure, just like Commander Kaeris was, and hopefully his cooperation might finally make them more at ease. Of course, to think they would just forget about what resided within him - after it had taken over him and made him commit so many atrocious deeds - might be expecting too much.

To his surprise, however, the scientist opted to give him tea in quite a sociable manner while they waited for this mysterious doctor from the Savi. He served it through the oculus unit, and Lucan slowly reached for it with his artificial hand - having grown quite accustomed to using it by then. He'd prefer one with synth flesh covering the carbon fibre and moving servos, but it wasn't like he'd make a fuzz about the model he'd been fitted with. It was a low-rung, basic model, of course. Why would they have given him anything that might be used against them? The thing had a standard organic strength setting, and he really had no need for anything else. The hand was reminder about having lost his gadd - the tattoo that completed the ink done on his left hand and forearm - but more importantly, it reminded him about his lapse of control.

The slow motion to collect the tea was for Kaeris benefit, however, not wanting to spook the scientist and make him think he'd seize his wrist and pull him into the highest-setting-forcefield. The impulse was there, of course, in the back of his mind. Fed to him by the thing crawling and coiling inside.

"My gratitude," he said quietly in his accent, "I do have nerves to settle, indeed." He took a sip, the shadows of the overhead light moving over his torso as he moved his arm. The edge between his own skin and the synth-flesh covering his right side was lit in its contrast; the area of his torso that had been reconstructed by his own medical team and Doctor Tyre before the battle with the Rotarran.

"My regrets about the Endeavour's fate," he said in his deep voice and tried to think of something else than what was due - this leap of faith in that the parasite's phase variance might be found through the anyon subatomic particles. He'd rather speak of something entirely else before this V-Nine returned. "Did you loose someone dear?"

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #16
[ Lt. Cmdr Vael Kaeris| Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

Vael quietly sipped his tea, giving a slight nod of the head as Nicander took the cup he'd offered, seeming to give no quarter to the prospect of a threat from the doctor, or simply unconcerned that such a fate might lay in the depths of Nicander's mind. 

And then the question came, drawing tightly at the corners of his mouth.  Some might have taken it as a moment to scowl or frown, but that wasn't how he felt. It wasn't how Bactricans felt at all.  Emotions were, outside of their time in the presence of a Third, quite muted even in the face of great celebration or terrible tragedy.

"I held Chief Martin's position on the Endeavour," he began after finishing his sip.  "There were quite a few promising officers and personnel among my staff.  Lt. Ezren had several fascinating theories about macrophages.  She was an adherent to the universe as a single cosmic biology.  It was a position I appreciated as most commonly view matters as conflicts of independent agents."

"Ensign Mosh was a talented and ambitious Bolian who was working on a string theory that he was determined would supplant the common understanding of atomic physics one day and revolutionize science as a whole."  He nodded appreciatively at the perspective each had brought to the department and the unfortunate waste of potential thanks to the Borg.  "I would be interested to hear his insights on the Omega Particle."

Another sip.

"But I suppose you mean to inquire if I lost someone of personal significance.  No.  My wives do not travel.  They have responsibilities that keep them at home."  Lowering his cup he considered them for a moment.  It was fortunate they had each other as likely the wider part of the Federation now considered him dead or assimilated most likely -- if they considered him at all.  Left to one of three, the survivor would be obliged to end their life.  It was a difficult custom to dwell on at the moment.
  • Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 08:58:09 AM by steelphoenix

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #17
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix
Nodding, Lucan sipped his tea, grateful for the change in topics. He listened to the science officer in quietude while he spoke of his old crew on the Endeavour, until he got to the answer in regard to significant others.

"By the winds, I suppose that's news of both comfort and worry, given how they are safely at home yet knows not what became of you, much less that there might be a civil war coming in Federation space - set between forces controlled by the Infested and those who rise arms in challenge," he said quietly in his faded Câroon accent. He thought of home, and what he'd left behind, a long time ago.

"Whatever degree of concern you hold, I know the stories of others mean little, but if there is any comfort, I do understand concern for those dear. The... woman I was supposed to live and die with on Envon experienced something... horrible, and she was reduced to but a shell of her former self. Immobile. Silent. I... sought a way to cure her. Travelled to Aldea to study medicine. I thought my people would care for her while I applied myself to the task. I was wrong. They thought her condition hopeless, so they put her down. They killed her like she was an animal in my absence."

He sipped his tea again, introspective where he stood. "The day before I left to find her cure, ignorant of what would befall her," said Lucan, his voice low, "I pushed her wheelchair along the mountain paths of Envon. I wanted to take her to the plateau her parents had taken her when she was young. Where she had played and learned to command the wind. Her parents could not take her there anymore, because they died in the incident where she had become broken. I tried to do it for her... or for them, I don't know. Yet the mountainside was too steep. Gravel made us slide down all the time, forced me to start over, again and again. I was determined. She could not speak any more, did not move a muscle in her face, but I knew she would be telling me to give up. That I would hurt myself. Hurt her even more. It was not until nightfall that I gave up. I had given her my cloak to keep her warm. I could no longer see the cliff face, and I was cold, bleeding."

He put the teacup aside on the fold-out table in the bulkhead of the cell. "Her name was Kisane, and everything I am today is because of her. I may not have been able to save her.... but since that day, I am committed to my calling in the medical field."

[ Vigenary Model I-9 Surgical Android | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix 
Having greeted both the security officer at the Aide's desk and walked into the security gateway, V-Nine wrung her metallic hands nervously as she was about to enter the brig. She'd been given very little in terms of information when it came to her current task, but she would readily apply herself fully to what was going to be asked of her. Her concern was not about her adequacy, but rather the hearsay she'd picked up about her potential patient. This Infested specimen of a Câroon, which seemed to stir many differing emotions back in Sickbay. He was Doctor Tyre's predecessor, and it was difficult to determine what the organics in medical thought of the man.

She supposed that ultimately, she'd have to make her own opinion.

The security gate opened, and she stepped inside, turning her optical lens to the Brig Officer at his station. "Hello!" she said and waved to the man, who stared back levelly at her. She cleared her throat - despite the lack of an oesophagus - and asked for directions. "I am to report to Lieutenant Commander Kaeris, is he...?"

The Brig Officer turned his head and nodded towards the only person standing in the brig, facing one of the holding cells.

"Oh, I see. Well, thank you!" she said, and walked over to the man and the cell which he faced. "Hi! I'm Vigenary Model I-9, surgical android. Please, call me Vi, or V-Nine, if you so prefer. How might I be of assistance?"

She turned her cranial unit towards the Doctor in the holding cell, and zoomed with her lens towards the obvious damages to the organic - the torso and the right hand being the prominent findings with just an ocular assessment.
  • Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 11:59:53 AM by Auctor Lucan

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #18
[ Lt. Cmdr Vael Kaeris| Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

Vael gave a nod of understanding as the doctor made his observation as to the simultaneous fortune and tragedy resulting from his wives' uncertainty as to his fate.  There was no sound to accompany his acknowledgement as that would imply some emotional connection to its ironic state but there-in lay some further complication.  Such emotions might only be felt and appreciated in the presence of his third and the psychic awakening she enabled in others of their kind.  Absent her influence, emotional reactions were more a matter of academia than reality to him, and it was only his study of bedside manner that gave him an appreciation for even its false emulation.

He supposed there might be some level of implied distress arising from the dichotomy or even the uncertainty, but he found such thoughts to be little more than distractions.  It was a needless point of worry about a fact that he could neither influence nor alter, at least not readily and without more dire consequence than his silence.

Nicander went on to recount a tale of his own youth.  One that filled him  with a distinct level of regret, perhaps from his inability too live up to a standard that he held for himself, perhaps the simple pain of loss of someone he held close.  But it was a tale that, by his own admission, had lead to a greater calling -- one that he had chosen to take as an experience of growth despite the unresolved pain it seemed to cause him.

Vael lowered his cup and nodded again.  "I am certain that she would appreciate your devotion and your perseverance in the face of adversity," he stated.  Again, an academic response as he had no actual evidence that the deceased experienced anything akin to the world of the living if they experienced anything at all.  There were far too many conflicting cultural beliefs and little by way of scientific proof.  It was a curiously taboo subject.

But then, if hive-minded polyphasic transtemporal parasitic nihilists could exist, who was he to say what the dead may or may not?

It was then then that the Savi-crafted android arrived, introducing herself to those present, to which Vael inclined his head in greeting.  He had to admit that he had precious little exposure to synthetics, his own field of scientific inquiry being focused on those of organic origin.  "Greetings.  I am Lt. Commander Vael Kaeris, Assistant Chief Science Officer."  Motioning towards the doctor, he added, "Dr. Lucan Nicander, formerly Chief Medical Officer.  I trust you have been briefed on the parasite threat we are currently facing and see the appropriate surveillance footage?  The doctor has been fortunate to retain a level of self-control and is making himself available for some of our working theories on how to identify, contain and ultimately neutralize the parasites."  He paused to see if there was any untoward reaction.  V-Nine, while amiable in demeanor, was hardly a Starfleet officer, so he could only ask her cooperation. 

"Given your particular expertise, I would like you to monitor Dr. Nicander's biometrics while I attempt to modulate an anyonic field to a more narrow bandwidth that I hope will ultimately allow us to identify the phase variance in which the parasites currently exist.  As the doctor's Câroon physiology does make some level of monitoring unreliable, it is my hope that the Savi equipped you with alternative diagnostic tools to compensate.  The doctor has recommended a series of anesthetics that his research has noted has some degree of inhibiting any potential adverse influence the parasite might have while simultaneously diminishing his own potential discomfort during the proceeding.  Were you able to locate the list of medications I transmitted to you?"

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #19
[ Vigenary Model I-9 Surgical Android | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix 
"I have been briefed about the threat and I did!" said V-Nine and raised her left hand, which collapsed and transformed, presenting her hypospray muzzle and an array of transparent canisters fitted inside her forearm. "An adequate selection for the task at hand, I'd say, or at least the best available here aboard the Theurgy. Savi have access to more, of course, and it might have mitigated the need for a few of the different medications, but the result would be the same. But can I just say... oh dear, is this really a good idea?"

Her cranial unit swivelled between the two male organics present, and she hated to point out something that ought to be obvious to them. "I mean, this procedure is not sanctioned underneath Starfleet Medical ethical protocols, which I am required to follow now that I serve aboard this vessel. The danger to the patient is more than just substantial, and there are no references in your database for this procedure ever having been successful. Abdominal parasites, regardless of nature, have not been phased into the living tissues of their hosts before. They have already been inside the same phase variance to co-exist with the host, so the damage to both parasite and host is likely terminal. And..."

"V-Nine," said the former Chief Medical Officer from inside the forcefield, "please, by the winds, I am aware, and I have given my consent to the procedure. How else might we be able to deal with this enemy, unless we find methods in which to liberate the hosts from control. Moreover, Commander Ducote has left the choice to me, in full awareness that this can't be sanctioned unless I give my explicit consent to follow through."

With her lens turning to the scientist present, V-Nine zoomed in on his face. "Still, this procedure is not ethical, and should not be presented as a solution to begin with. Is the answer worth more than this patient's life? I cannot guarantee Doctor Nicander's survival if the parasite fuses with key internal organs in Câroon physiology."

"Yes," said the prisoner, and V-Nine turned her head back to the speaker.

"Pardon?" she asked, tilting her cranial unit.

"The answer is worth more than my life," said the former Chief Medical Officer. He slowly turned away, walking to the bunk in the back. "Please, do what you can, as long as you try. You have made your objection, and you should make it formal in my journal, but still... we need your help. Otherwise... I fear there is no chance that I'll survive this."

Standing there, V-Nine felt that the available information in her memory banks rendered conflicting data pertaining to her choice. A dilemma, one more profound than she'd ever experienced in her runtime so far. She turned to the scientist again, as if hoping the Batrican specimen had something further to say, but she realised that - in the interest of the mission that the Theurgy had as an absolute priority - she had little choice but to comply. She looked down towards the deck, finding how her upgrade made her hate her current situation. She did what the Doctor had suggested, however, and wirelessly added her formal objection to his medical journal and her personal log. She cited the statement that the procedure had been authorised by the ship's First Officer as long as consent was given by the patient, and then raised her lens towards the Brig Officer.

"I need to enter the cell, please," she stated, with less emotion than she usually exhibited. When the forcefield winked out for her, she simply added, "Thank you," and walked inside, coming to stand next to the prone patient on the bunk.

"Are you sure, Doctor?" she asked, hoping against the obvious odds that the Câroon had changed his mind. She'd raised her hypospray, and she retracted the ceramic coating on her thumb and forefinger to begin the medical scan - the yellow and teal light bathing the skin of the patient.

"Yes," he said, and closed his pale grey eyes, taking a deep breath - a mere shiver suggesting trepidation.

"Very well," said V-Nine, and applied the muzzle to the patient's neck. The consecutive noise from her hypospray signalled the inoculation of the different medical substances. Once that was done, she turned her lens towards the scientist, and she inclined her cranial unit. "Please proceed. I'm ready."

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #20
[ Lt. Cmdr Vael Kaeris| Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

Vael observed the automaton as she made her introductions and then her objections known, his expression unchanging and unreadable as if their roles were somehow reversed.  Curious that he Savi would invest such emotive levels into her programming -- of might this have been the result of her 'liberation'?  A fundamental recoding her her subroutines thanks to Theurgy herself?

It presented a momentarily fascinating permutation to the moment that he had not fully anticipated, but if there was one thing he had learned in his time dealing with this vessel and her crew... it often paid to account for the chaos factor that seemed ever in their orbit.

After the doctor had expressed his own willingness to participate in the experiment at hand, Vael cleared his throat, adding, "Your objections are noted.  And appreciated.  There are... safer options for this procedure but they are time consuming and of the many commodities we currently lack, time is the one most at deficit."  He inclined his head towards Nicander, "I have no desire to see harm befall the doctor, but a certain level of risk accompanies every scientific endeavor.  Were the doctor opposed to this vector of inquiry, I would not force it upon him and would instead be occupying myself with other alternatives.  It is my hope that your unique nature and advanced heuristics will limit the potential risks to a bare minimum."

Her change in tone gave him the impression that she might have disengaged that portion of herself that gave way to her reticence.  He had postulated that this might be a talent of any artificial lifeform -- to simply set aside or deactivate those parts of themselves that were inconvenient in a given moment. It was a potentially enviable talent that had few biological counterparts.  Certainly elements like adrenaline might be comparable, but they simply numbed the system during times of stress.  The stimuli remained and, delayed or not, would need to be addressed in time.  He wondered if the same might be true for V-Nine.

Once she had entered the cell and provided the requested inoculations, he held up his own tricorder and regarded the doctor with a crease of concern in his brow. "I propose that we begin at 100 particles per second, increasing at a rate of 100 particles every 30 seconds, not to exceed a rate of 2500 per second.  If there is no change, this will at least allow us to establish a new lower threshold.  V-Nine, if you detect any abnormalities, stress, or adverse effects, you have authority to terminate the beam on your command."

Looking at Nicander once more, he nodded.  "Are you ready, doctor?"

(According to ST:TNG Episode "The Next Phase", 6000 particles per second was enough to bring Ro Laren and Geordi into the visible spectrum long enough for Data and Picard to see them.  Data then requested that the anyonic beam be used at it's "highest level" and flood 10 Forward in order to negate the cloaking effect.)

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #21
[ Vigenary Model I-9 Surgical Android | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix 
Standing over the former Chief Medical Officer, V-Nine heard the answer to the scientist's question and turned her lens towards the speaker.

"I am," said the Câroon, and the effects of the consecutive inoculations he'd gotten affected his tone, making him seem distant. Detached, and yet somehow present nonetheless. Clearly the effects were settling in, for he laid there in perfect ease, his body limp upon the bunk. Satisfied that she'd done what she could for his well-being prior to the procedure, V-Nine turned her full attention to the readings... when the somewhat barbaric pursuit for answers began.

Instructions had to be given to the attending Brig Officer, who was in control of the anyonic beam flooding the cell, and while V-Nine's own sensors could pick up the gradual increase, and her audio receptors could hear the instructions Vael Kaeris gave, her full attention were on the readings of her ongoing medical scan. She'd acknowledged that she had authority to end the procedure, and she would. Anything less would be negligent of her duties and her adherence to Starfleet medical practise and ethics, ironic as it might be in the given situation to begin with.

There was no indication of anything amiss in the lower ranges of the beam's particle ratio, and while vigilant - expecting a change in the intestinal region any moment and prepared to act on it - V-Nine couldn't see any changes in the patient's bio-readings when the ratio was increased. By the time they reached 2500 particles per second, the beam was powered down, and V-Nine turned her cranial unit to look at the scientist.

"Condition unchanged, I think a lower threshold can be established," she said, searched for any possible new objections to make, before resigning to the obvious, "I can continue the scans, and I advise the procedure is not unnecessarily prolonged. The current mix of anaesthetics and the state of the patient will not last more than three minutes. After that, I insist on further inoculations."

She turned her attention back to Nicander, and her lens zoomed in on his countenance. "How are you feeling, Doctor?"

"I don't feel anything..." he said, almost drowsily, as he laid there with his pale grey eyes closed. "By the winds, get on with it before I have regrets..."

"Acknowledged," V-Nine replied, nodding, before looking back at officer Kaeris. "I'm ready."

OOC: Take it to the higher ratios and we'll go from there? :)
  • Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 08:39:16 AM by Auctor Lucan

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs.] With All Due Respect
Reply #22
[ Lt. Cmdr Vael Kaeris| Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

Vael considered his options for a moment, sparing a reassuring nod towards Nicander.  "You are doing quite well, doctor."  True, they had eliminated a lower spectrum of the anyonic field but they hadn't exactly stumbled across anything that would further their research into dealing with the parasitic infection, let alone liberating the man who has been so agreeable to such an untested procedure.

Rubbing his chin, he turned his attention to the droid who now assisted him.  "V-Nine, I trust your response systems are higher than a standard biological agent's.  I do not wish to exceed the next five minutes.  I believe the doctor has been most kind in his assistance and I do not wish to exhaust that good will."

Speaking up so that the computer and nearby security staff could both clearly receive his next direction, he added, "To that end, I am rendering the anyonic sweep to your complete control."  He looked down at the tricorder held in his hand, ensuring that it continued to record every detail of the test.  Ofttimes, the greatest discoveries came in reflecting on research and rarely in the moment, but this was not an instance he could risk.

"V-Nine, the anyon saturation is now within your control.  Increase the ratio at your discretion for the five minutes remaining."  Turning it over was not his preference, but he could spend as much time if not more measuring her response times under such conditions -- it was something he had to assume she knew intrinsically.

With a nod, he affirmed the concluding stage of the test.

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs] With All Due Respect
Reply #23
[ Vigenary Model I-9 Surgical Android | Security Center | Deck 07 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @steelphoenix 
While not at all confident in being directly responsible for the increase of anyonic particle ratio flooding the holding cell, since it was in direct conflict with her adherence to Starfleet Medical ethics to do harm, V-Nine could still see the pragmatic aspect of the Commander's decision.

She had her lens turned towards the Batrican but the evaluation of how she might proceed took no more than 1,538 miliseconds. In the end, the change in the procedure had been made in the interest of preserving the prisoner's life. She had the best ability to halt the emissions in the holding  cell before the harm to Doctor Nicander's became too great. Yet again, the procedure was unprecedented, and it might just be that the dephasing of the parasite was no gradual transition at all, but completely analog. Either it was present inside the patient, or it wasn't. The switch might be instantaneous, and that might mean no matter how quick she was, the Câroon would die.

Alternatively, instead of death, this parasite might preserve the host's life by taking over entirely, just like reports said it had during the time the Theurgy had been in the Azure Nebula. Neither outcome was preferable, but she could but assume that from a scientific point of view, the latter result would be more beneficial for the mission.

"Continuing procedure now," she said, and she couldn't quite rid the tone of her digital voice from her doubts and reservations.

Slowly, her cranial unit swivelled back towards the Doctor's prone form, and she began to increase the particle ratio once more. The feed from her scan was her runtime's prime focus as she wirelessly entered the Theurgy's LCARS interface and the programs she'd been granted access to. Incrementally, the ratio elevated, and she announced the progress through the speaker underneath her lens. "2750 particles per second," she said, still seeing no changes, "3000 particles per second... 3250 particles per second... 3500 particles per second."

No change, and V-Nine was beginning to think the scientific proof behind the procedure was at fault, and the entire thing was an exercise in futility at the expense of the patient. The Doctor seemed less at ease, as if plagued by something she couldn't pick up within the spectrum of her audio recognition software. He was mumbling, as if debating with someone unseen. If the patient was that agitated under the influence of the drugs in his circulatory systems, then she couldn't very well fathom how he'd behave otherwise.

"...4250 particles per second," she continued after a while, the life-threatening proclamations having become a droning account of perpetuated failure. Soon enough, she was at the 5500 ratio, and she hadn't stopped to establish some kind of threshold since the patient seemed more and more in distress from something unseen. Unheard. He didn't raise his voice enough to be heard, but she could see his face twisting in revulsion and hate. It was gradually getting worse, but her readings merely detected an elevated heartbeat. Without the inoculations he'd received, whatever he was experiencing would have been far worse, perhaps even life-threatening.

 "...6250 particles per second," she proclaimed...

...and then something showed on the ultraviolet readings, which was just one of the many parameters she kept her attention to. A void in the spectrum, deeper than the virtual non-presence of light inside a body save for whatever made it past the skin. "Ratio increase halted!"

"Get it out of me!" called the Doctor, blood running from the corner of his mouth, V-Nine's readings stating he'd lacerated the inside of his cheek with his teeth. As bad as the patient's condition appeared to be form a spectator, there was no discernible alteration to any matter in his thorax, save for the change in the light-spectrum. Whatever ailed the Doctor had to be psychological, as if that void affected him in some psionic manner.

Her medical call was to not just halt the emission increase, but to vent all the subspace particles immediately, and she acted on it. For she had seen the profile of that void in the Doctor.

It was that of a coiling monster - teeth snapping like a serpent.

"Venting anyon emissions!"

And gradually, the void faded away...

...and the Doctor was unconscious.

"Patient's condition is stabile," said V-Nine in the wake of it all, regretting having participated in the experiment because of what the the Doctor had suffered. "No sign of physical harm..."

Re: Day 14 [1300 hrs.] With All Due Respect
Reply #24
[ Lt. Cmdr Vael Kaeris| Security Center | Deck 7 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 

Vael watched with intense scrutiny, eyes darting from his own tricorder, to V-Nine, to the doctor, and back, having positioned himself so as to make such a panorama as rapid as possible given the limitations of eye movement and refocusing.  At 3500 particles, his brow began to furrow as the doctor's relative numbness seemed challenged, and yet V-Nine continued despite his signs of stress growing ever more prevalent.

Had he err'd?  Had he levied too much control to the android?  Had she disengaged some safeguard or protocol in the midst of overriding her internal protest to proceed with this experiment and had that compromised her ability to follow the directive to minimize his distress?  Vael's thumb hovered over the disengage button no his own tricorder.  It was a step he did not wish to have to take but he could not risk harm to the doctor -- could this be a chastisement of his methodology?  Giving him cause to worry?

At 6000 particles per second, he was considering stopping the procedure.  Usurping the control he had ceded V-Nine would be seen as a lack of trust and detrimental to any future engagement, but at 6250, his conundrum was rendered moot as the experiment concluded with a flurry.

Taking a moment to ensure there was no immediate danger presented, Vael glanced from the doctor, now unconscious, to V-Nine.

"Thank you, V-Nine.  Please upload your data to the dedicated science database.  This should help us better cater our research into defending against the parasites.  Contact Dr. Tyre and conduct a full bio-analytic comparison between the doctor's current state and his most recent state post-surgical scans.  Even the most minute change could be important."

Kneeling down, he examined Nicander's features, his detached demeanor giving way to the more comforting bedside manner.  "You did very well, doctor.  Now rest while we do what we can to unlock this particular puzzle."

He rose, turning his attention to the guard. "Please monitor his condition carefully.  If he shows any further signs of distress, notify me immediately.  Ensure he receives adequate hydration and nutrition when he awakes and let him know that I will be by tomorrow to check up on him."

  • Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 03:29:28 PM by Auctor Lucan