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Adverse Events

Posted on Sun Apr 21st, 2024 @ 4:03pm by Captain Qa'ada MD & Commander Naois Mercy MD & Lieutenant Amelia Fox & Lieutenant Faith Hawkins & Lieutenant JG René Rouen & Lieutenant JG Toareth Rouen (née Darqa)

4,343 words; about a 22 minute read

Mission: Fortuna
Location: USS Britannic
Timeline: Stardate 52979.1

Commander Peeq Elyro stood in his Quarters aboard the Nebula Class Britannic staring at a holographic replica of himself. The tall, yet short for his species, Edosian looked carefully at himself, his eyes focusing on the three pips on his collar. Reaching up he removed them, carefully holding the brass insignia in his hands. When he was first starting out he couldn't wait to be this highly ranked within the fleet. Now, as he dealt with the minutiae that Starfleet so commonly became embroiled in, he almost regretted having reached this rank.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw the source of his irritation. The California Class starship USS Bradbury - not named for the famous Human author but rather some region on Earth - had dropped out of warp and was on approach to the Britannic. Even at this distance he could see the teal colored fittings indicating that the Bradbury had been configured for scientific assignments, but he already knew that. This wasn't his first experience with the Bradbury or its Captain. It wasn't something he was looking forward to.

Especially when he had patients. As he affixed the pips on his collar with his central hand, he debated conveniently missing the arrival of Captain Qa'ada, but he knew that he wouldn't get away with it. Having wanted to focus on treating the Captain, Peeq had asked to remain in Sickbay and skip the arrival, but had been overruled. Leaving the Captain in the hands of others was not something he was comfortable with, but these were the risks of being in Starfleet. You couldn't always get what you wanted.

"Terminate mirror," the Edosian ordered with a sigh, knowing his time was limited. Tugging on his uniform, the Doctor turned and started toward the Shuttlebay, hoping that this didn't take long.

"Dad what's going on..." Laura looked at her brothers while following her father, trying to match his brisk pace, wondering why he was all in his fancy uniform. Her brothers too were smartly dressed and dad had made her wear her best dress too.

"You will see," Naois said, not even halting to look at his daughter. "I need all of you to behave and save the questions for later. Agreed?" This time he spared.them a brief glance over his shoulder.

The three children nodded slowly. "Of course," Revan replied quietly.

Zirvell had no clue what was going on, going only on the brisk summons to the hangar bay. He felt alone, in the captain's quarters, having refused to move while Lukas was still stuck in sickbay. Dressing in freshly replicated clothes, bunny tucked under.his arm, he entered the large hangar bay.

Rene was already in the shuttlebay attending to the honor guard detail preparation. He was not a particularly fan of dog and pony shows, but he and the honor guard were decked out in full dress with ceremonial sabers for the arrival.

Another distraction. Faith was getting a little tired of them. Britannic still wasn't running to its potential. It was annoying her. Little niggles, foibles to be ironed out. One would be fixed, another would be found. She'd rather be working on fixing those. Instead, Faith was stood in the shuttle bay. After all, it wasn't a request. It was an order. Hopefully this would not take long, she thought.

Amelia straightened the collar of her dress uniform for the hundredth time. She was still getting used to wearing the old style of uniform again. She ran her finger along her pips, feeling slightly self conscious there was one less now but it was required. Her life onboard the Britannic was slowly becoming normal for her. The girls had adjusted to the change better than she expected but she could not get a handle on Syvar. They had not spoken much about it. Right now, there was not the time as she made her way to the turbolift. The layout of the Brittnaic was similar to the Andromeda so navigating around the ship was not difficult. She was curious to know how much the new Captain had been filled on her arrival here and how much she was allowed to tell him, bearing in mind the temporal prime directive.

She entered the turbolift and turned to address the computer "Main shuttlebay."

Syvar approached her as soon as she walked in,and linked his hand with hers, human style. "You look amazing," he whispered as he led her forward.

She smiled at him, ever grateful for his presence as he escorted her into the bay where they took appropriate positions among the assemled officers and crew.

Willa arrived in the shuttle bay. It was a hive of activity, many people had arrived before her. She considered standing near Faith. But, she decided not to. Instead, Willa stood near to some familiar, more friendly faces. The occasion though, was not a happy one. The mood was sombre, sorrowful. Rumours had circulated, but Willa refused to indulge. Instead, she stood and waited.

Toareth knew Sick Bay was in good hands. The chaos of medical attention from before had quieted and a certain order returned to the ship. It was business as usual, just a lot more patients. A lot more. Thankfully the majority of the injuries now could be looked after by the enlisted Sick Bay personnel and did not really need the attention of the CMO or Toarth, his assistant. At this point in time, however, Toareth found herself actually wishing for a medical emergency. At least that would have been more use of her time than a ceremony marking the arrival of their new, and temporary captain. Regardless, it needed to be done. She just hoped this one had no knowledge of her past history. Somewhere, out there, someone still had such knowledge, knowledge of WHO Toareth really was, or had been. Someone knew that she had at least been sent to the penal colony in New Zealand on Earth. The odds were in her favor, however, that this captain did not have that knowledge. The records were erased by whatever section Lynch worked for and those who knew of such things were scattered among other vessels. Hopefully that knowledge would die and be forgotten.

Toareth strode into the main bay. She, of course, noticed her husband first and the color guard ready for the CO's arrival. A few other personnel were spread about. Toareth stood off to the side for the moment. She pulled her PADD from her satchel to look for any medical emergencies, any reason that she could believably use to get out of this situation. No such reason presented itself. She shoved her PADD back into her satchel and stood there, hoping this would get started, so they could all be done with it.

Seeing the woman walk in, Zirvell quietly slid up to her side, not wanting to be left on his own. "Can I stand with you?" He asked softly, uncertainty in his voice.

Toareth nodded to the boy. "Of course," she said. The new captain needed to meet the senior staff and other personnel of necessity upon his arrival. He might as well meet some of a civilian and patient population as well. With the Britannic being a medical ship and him having a medical profession of his own, why not? "Your presence here will keep this from being a complete formal affair. Once the whistle blows, just stand straight and do not speak unless spoken to. Understand?"

"Yes ma'am," the boy answered politely, but with a hopeful smile.

The large rolltop shuttlebay door started to lift upward into the superstructure of the Britannic's hull, the crackling silvery-blue forcefield snapping into place as space appeared beyond. A Type 6 shuttlecraft came into view, flying between the exposed structure of the pylon holding the hospital pod, as the crew continued to gather inside the shuttlebay. Gracefully slipping through the forcefield, the shuttle moved toward an illuminated parking space near the center of the massive room. The name of the shuttle, the Bliss Canyon, came into view as the shuttle hovered for a moment, quickly spinning so that its nosecone was pointed toward the exit. Gently, the shuttle touched down upon the deck with a light bang as the rear hatch lowered.

Captain Qa'ada stood just inside the rear compartment of the shuttle as a noncommissioned officer announced, "Captain Qa'ada arriving." At this notification, he brought an old-fashioned Bosun's whistle to his lips and blew into it. It was classic pomp and circumstance. The crew having been trained at an early point in their career that with the sound of the whistle they should snap to attention.

And thew crew did just that. Except for Zirvell. Toareth lightly nudged him with her elbow.

The boy stiffened a little, but with a touch of pride.

Few would know, Qa'ada hated it. While he believed in protocol, the Captain of the Bradbury was not fond of such ceremonial showings. He was a doctor, a healer, and he cared little for pageantry. Instead, he cared for duty. Staring at the group for a moment, the Aurelian was silently orienting himself to his surroundings. Taking a moment, the Captain walked before the crew as one of the aides from inside the shuttle came alongside him. Accepting a PADD, Qa'ada looked at the crowd before him.

"To Captain Qa'ada, Commanding Officer Starship Bradbury, you are hereby requested and required to assume command of the starship USS Britannic as of this date. Signed, Admiral William J. Ross." He looked around the Shuttlebay, carefully noting each of the crew. The bird like alien located the Executive Officer, walking to the Vulcan/Human hybrid to hand over the PADD for verification, "Commander Naois Mercy, please so note in the ship's official log."

The XO accepted the PADD and spared it the briefest of glances. "So noted," he answered, stepping aside. "The ship is yours captain. I will have the senior staff introduced to you at your convenience."

"Thank you, Commander, but first," he looked at the tall Edosian, "Doctor Elyro."

Standing off to the side, Doctor Peeq Elyro hated being singled out but had a feeling this was coming. Having known Doctor Qa'ada, he knew this could go poorly quickly, "Yes, Captain?"

"You are being transferred to the Bradbury," the Aurelian informed. The Captain motioned toward the shuttle, "Please board the Bliss Canyon."

The former Chief Medical Officer looked around at the gathered crew. Tugging on his uniform, he decided to employ a stiff upper lip rather than express his true feelings. "It's been an honor serving with you."

The XO looked less than amused at this unforseen transfer but he had no say in this anymore than Elyro did. "We will fight for your return when the time comes," he promised, wondering just who was slated to take the CMO's place.

From the gathered crowd came a shocked gasp and some people were pushed aside as a grey skinned boy rushed forward. "You can't go," he cried as he wrapped his arms around the man.

As an Edosian Doctor Elyro didn't have traditional emotions, but he understood them. Knowing Zirvell's history he could understand where the young man was coming from. Kneeling down from his tall height, Peeq spoke honestly.

"This is all happening for a reason. Everything will be ok. I'm just a comm call away."

"Promise!" The boy implored, his expression indicating idle hope, as if promises had been broken before.

René nodded to the Chief Petty Officer to takeover. He then broke ranks with the honor guard detail and approached Peeq and Zirvell. "Come with me. We'll see to it you're taken care of."

From her position Amelia watched the bittersweet scene unfold and he turned to comment to Syvar when she caught sight of a familiar face in the crowd. A face she had not expected to see and yet, strangely it looked the same as the last time she had seen her, which was about 26 years from now. The colour drained from her face and she discreetly gripped Syvar's arm. She turned her gaze away quickly, but she was clearly shaken by who she had seen.

Feeling the tight grip on his arm as well as easily sensing her horror across their bond, the young Vulcan turned his head towards her. "What is it? He asked in a hushed whisper.

"That Lieutenant over there, standing next to the Cardassian. Her name is Toarerth. I know her... Or I will know her. We met when I was on leave from the Andromeda on Earth and we stayed close friends. I didn't know it at the time, but I was also friends with her daughter who was at the academy the same time I was. She was in my advanced combat training course."

She smiled to herself. "I supposed to meet Toareth next month to catch up...." She sighed, exasperated. "I've stopped trying to keep my tenses straight."

She stole another glance back at Toareth. "She looks exactly the same as she did the last time I saw her. I've got to ask her how she does that," She added, slightly envious.

Toareth felt a slight twist in her gut. She had heard of this sensation before. As her education, during her time aboard the El-Aurian transports, taught her, this was perhaps time sickness; only felt when there was an obvious shift in the timeline, something out of place or not supposed to happen or be there, and something few would feel or recognize, except for El-Aurians of course, who would suddenly feel a gut wrench nausea. Toareth never put much stock into that theory though and filed that bit of education away in the rubbish pile along with what she was taught about the Nexus. She looked around though and saw a few sets of eyes attending to her, possibly seeing her sudden bout with nausea. She gave that all up to the possibility of her being suddenly thrust into the Britannic CMO position, upon witnessing Peeq's sudden reassignment.

Syvar had followed her gaze towards a young man pulling a struggling Cardassian child away. Temporal mechanics were too confusing for him so he wasn't even going to try. "Well, obviously that meeting needs to happen as it may affect your future," he whispered, never taking his eyes off the distraught child.

Faith had stood and watched in silence. A new Captain. Hardly a surprise, with Captain Fredricks' injury. But Faith had never seen anyone, an Aurelian, like Qa'ada before. First time for everything, as they said. Faith began to consider making a departure. She felt she'd stayed long enough to be polite. The only problem was Faith was on one side of the shuttle bay. And the way out was on the other.

Doctor Elyro watched as Zirvell was taken away. Taking a breath, the three legged alien turned and looked at the shuttle. Glancing at Captain Qa'ada, the former Chief Medical Officer spoke as politely as he could, "Take care of this ship, Captain. They're something special."

"I could say the same," the bird-like alien answered. The new Captain of the Britannic handed a datapad to the Edosian doctor, "These are your new orders, Commander. I suppose I should say congratulations. You're the new Executive Officer of the Bradbury."

Peeq looked carefully at the information on the display screen, surprised by what he had seen. One of his goals was to be a Director of a medical facility, this was another step toward that goal. "I don't know what to say."

"Good luck would be nice," the Aurelian grumbled.

"I appreciate the sentiment," the new Executive Officer answered as he entered the shuttle.

Qa'ada gave his closest approximation of a smirk as he turned back toward the crew of the Britannic. "This concludes the transition process for the Britannic. I'd like for the Senior Officers to remain here so that I can give a proper briefing on what the new mission of the Britannic will be."

René dismissed the honor guard detachment before wandering over to ascertain what was going on with this new Captain. He wasn't sure to make of the situation, due to the irregularities of recent events.

"I'll be in sickbay," Syvar told his wife. He wasn't senior staff in this ship, so he wasn't called upon to stay.

Naois gave a small nod to his children. "Return to your projects," he told them, then caught Revan's attention. "Keep an eye on Zirvell... do not interfere in what he does but watch him for now." It was a huge task for the young Betazoid but Naois knew he could trust his son as the boys had attended the same special class with the now departing CMO.

As the children left, the Vulcan returned his attention to the new captain. He couldn't remember ever having seen an Aurelian in person, despite having heard of them. "Do you have any special requirements for your quarters?" He asked quietly, then realizing the challenge tube had with the captain's quarters actually still being occupied.

"Nothing more than the average humanoid would need, Commander, thank you," the former Doctor answered as he flexed his wings slightly. It was a bit showy, if not making a brief spectacle, but they'd manage. The reality was that there were many things that his species did differently than others. One key thing was that Aurelians preferred to live in spherical treehouses that were nestled in tree branches high above the ground and his species did not like to wear clothing, but Starfleet required him to do so. In the end, he didn't want to put the crew of the Britannic out. Starfleet Medical had informed him that this was a temporary assignment and he'd be returned to duty on another ship after this mission was concluded and Britannic's captain healed. He could temporarily thrive without the creature comforts his species were accustomed to having.

Toareth stood her ground as the others had departed. As Assistant CMO, she did not have to be here for this briefing. But seeing as how the CMO was just reassigned, she could only surmise that she was going to be the acting CMO. The thought of it, a Lieutenant Junior Grade, as Chief Medical Officer. It was a position generally held by Lieutenants Commander, not someone two tiers down on the ranking system. Toareth did have the medical knowledge and the years of experience beneath her however. With the exception of the Vulcan, Toareth probably had more years in her field and in space that anyone else aboard the Britannic. He rank, though, showed her to be only a recent addition to the ranks of Starfleet. She wondered how much of her record this new captain was aware of, had perused, and/or what he had heard. She hoped that, withouth drawing attention to herself, she could simply slip out with the rest of the non-essentials who were departing. But, before she could take that first step...

"Lieutenant Rouen, please remain as you will be Acting Chief Medical Officer for the duration of this mission," Qa'ada added. "Is this everyone?" He asked no one in particular.

"Should be, unless there are more surprise arrivals?" The XO answered as he watched the new captain flex his wings. "Gravity can be lowered in your quarters if you wish and the holodeck should provide an opportunity to experience flight if you desire." He paused. "There is one minor issue with your new quarters... they have one remaining occupant I have been reluctant to move."

"I can be assigned to guest quarters," the Captain commented, "my assignment here is not permanent."

"As you wish. I will have one of the diplomatic quarters assigned to you for now." The counselor seemed relieved he didn't have to unsettle the remaining occupant just yet.

Getting into it, the Aurelian Captain crossed his arms and walked toward the center forward of the group of assembled officers. The alien quickly studied them, comparing what he saw to the personnel dossiers that he had read during his recent travels aboard the Bradbury. Standing at attention before the group, he got right to it.

"Thank you all for remaining. I'm sorry that you have been pulled away from your existing mission, but that was an adverse event that could not be avoided. As of today, the Britannic will be replacing the Bradbury on a priority mission for Starfleet Medical's Division 14. For those unaware, Division 14 is a specialized group within Starfleet assigned to deal with mysterious science or medical related problems. This appointment is temporary, but Starfleet Medical may make it permanent depending upon our performance during this mission."

Pressing a button on the datapad he carried, a hologram of an M-Class planet projected from the PADD, "Britannic is being assigned to investigate a distress call from the Federation's Fortuna Colony. Established prior to the Dominion War and located near the Cardassian Demilitarized Zone, Fortuna is experiencing a viral outbreak caused by Melvaran Mud Fleas. As many of you know, a viral outbreak like this is fairly common and easily treated by a trained doctor. The problem is the treatment - which has been in use since the 22nd Century - is killing everyone who receives it."

"Are there any questions?"

"The remedy is killing the patients?" Naois queried, "was it tested for compatibility on the patient to begin with? Every sensible medic knows that a remedy made for one species cannot be blindly used on another. What species of patients are we dealing with?"

"Can we be provided with a scan of the remedy, RNA/DNA sequencing, a sample at least," Toareth asked immediately. "I will make sure it remains under heavy containment," she thought to add as to quell any concerns about the remedy getting out of control aboard the Britannic. Toareth was concerned however, about this mysterious remedy. As she had, on many occasions, produced medicines to actually make people sick instead of healing, she was worried that whatever sequencing this remedy possessed, might be able to illustrate Toar's own handiwork. Worse yet, her handiwork being hijacked and repurposed by someone else.

Bouncing between the questions so far, the Captain answered what he could. "The planet is primarily Human, but has a spattering of other species present too. None that are incompatible with the treatment as previously known." He turned next to the ship's doctor, "As for the sequencing, we have been told that the colony is using the standard treatment as programmed within our own databases. When we arrive an away team will visit the planet. You will be able to recover a sample there."

"Have the replicators used, and the vaccine been tested for tampering? Is there anything in the atmosphere of the colony which could alter a person's response?" Naois had so many questions, and his medical background became quite obvious with the line of questions he asked.

Looking to the Executive Officer, the bird-like alien nodded, "So far, from what the diagnostic reports are showing the Corps of Engineers, the replicators are working properly and the atmosphere is a standard Class O. It has a bit more water than a traditional Class M, but nothing that is of danger to humanoid life."

René was still Acting Chief Security Officer since Lieutenant Naidoo's death. "What of civil unrest? Should any away teams need protection from mobs upon our arrival?"

Knowing that the captain was being flooded with questions and having very little in the way of answers, Toareth knew it was up to the respective teams to come up with answers and theories. Moreso, he needed a plan of attack. "I advise caution upon our arrival. After a Tactical assessment I will have a team of medics ready to go down. I would recommend an equally size contingent of Security personnel," she said as she looked to her husband, "as well as a Command personnel for an initial evaluation. All donning hermtically sealed suits until we ensure the atmosphere is safe to breathe."

Allowing the back and forth before answering, the Captain addressed the next set of questions, "The Colonial Marshals have locked down the colony and restricted the populace from leaving their homes, except in certain situations or genuine emergency. Essential personnel are permitted to access their work stations, but only during their duty shifts and then they have to return home." He considered for a moment, "I'm open to whatever safety precautions are needed, but I'm not certain about a heavy response. If we send too many security personnel it may trigger the very unrest we're looking to avoid. While most see Starfleet as the good guys, I never rule out the potential that our intentions may be misunderstood."

So far, Faith had stood and listened. It sounded like a hazardous assignment. One that she, as Engineer, may or may not be involved in. She never wrote off medical issues as purely medical, and or science-led. Sometimes engineering could play its part, too. Perhaps this was an opportunity for that. "I would like to have a look at the equipment they're using to create and dispense the vaccine." she commented. "I'd like to think if there was a fault, they'd have picked up on it. But I don't see the harm in another set of eyes taking a look."

"I'm certain that we could arrange for that," the Acting Captain acknowledged as he fluttered his wings. "Does anyone else have anything they'd like to add before we proceed?"

Noting that there were no remaining questions, the Captain nodded, "Alright then, it's time that we get to it. Commander, return to the Bridge and set course for the Fortuna Colony at Warp 8. The rest of you should review the available information provided about the Fortuna Colony and the viral condition before our arrival. Dismissed."


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