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Posted on 02 Feb 2016 @ 3:43am by Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Temerant Bast

Mission: Rude Awakening
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: MD9 - 1400 Hours

Nurse T'Lura was carrying out her duties in typical Vulcan efficiency. She had been assigned to do a prenatal examination on Commander O'Connell in the brig, and was gathering her equipment to do just that, when an alarm rang, informing the Sickbay staff of an incoming transport. The Sickbay doors opened, and an armed Andorian security guard walked in. T'Lura looked at the guard, and raised an eyebrow.

"Are there security concerns due to the incoming patient?" she asked.

The guard merely nodded, just as the whine of the transporter was heard, and a humanoid form materialized on the floor in front of her. The man was wearing a gold uniform from the Operations division. She couldn't see the man's face, but she saw the Trill spots on the side of his neck, and recognized Lieutenant Bast.

She sensed the security guard shifting position, ready to reach for his phaser at the first sign of trouble. She flipped open her tricorder, and scanned the Operations officer as she slapped her combadge. "Doctor Kij to Sickbay immediately," she called.

Jayla half grinned to herself. How often did one take their last bite of food at lunch and THEN get called back to work? It was almost always on the first bite, but once in awhile, one got lucky. She tapped her own com-badge. "I'm on my way," she said, jumping up and heading out the door. She could recycle the dishes later. Nobody would care about them as they were in her own quarters.

She arrived in Sick Bay exactly two minutes later and hurried to where the nurses were already at work. "Oh... kitten!" she exclaimed haltingly, trying to keep herself from cursing. "Tricorder!" she ordered and one was immediately slapped into her waiting hand. "What in the known universe happened? And why is security here?" she asked, beginning her scans.

The Andorian stepped forward. "I don't have all the details," he explained. "Lieutenant di Pasquale ordered me via comm to report here and guard the 'bloody Consortium traitor', she said. I believe he has been stunned by phaser fire, and something heavy crushed him."

Jayla nodded and looked over the readings from her tricorder. "Oh, good grief," she said. "First, we'll have to stop this bleeding. Mostly internal. Get me a subdermal regenerator and... 20 CC's of mocrisol." Get some clotting agent in his veins and help it along with a regenerator, then deal with the multiple breaks and lacerations as well as the concussion- which was relatively small.

T'Lura had already anticipated Doctor Kij's needs, and handed her the generator. She then reached into her medkit, and pulled out a hypospray, which she pressed to Bast's neck. There was a soft hiss as the drug was injected into his system.

Jayla nodded as she attached the regenerator to Bast's abdomen - the spot with the most serious internal bleeding. She then loaded a hypospray with a pain killer and mild sedative to keep him out while she stitched him back together. She decided to not worry about the concussion as it was very mild and would likely lose its effects after less than a day. "All right, let's start with the broken bones," she said. "The ribs are priority. They're in the right places, but probably causing him pain, even through the medication." She began repairing his ribs while the coagulant and regenerator worked their magic on the bleeding.

The Bast symbiont was afloat in a sea of chaos. It could feel the blood washing over it because of the Host's injuries. It was worried. But as always, there was silence. Then it felt the painkillers beginning to kick in, and the chaos started to give way to mild euphoria. The sensation of bathing in a sea of blood subsided. But the silence remained.

T'Lura monitored the patient's vital signs while Doctor Kij was trying to repair the wounds. They had managed to get him on a biobed, and the Andorian security officer, whom she'd learned was named Cha'Lìn, had insisted on setting up the restraining field. She had considered arguing that it was unnecessary as the patient was severely injured and under sedation, but something about the Andorian's demeanor had told her that any attempt at discussion was irrelevant and counter-productive. Instead, she focused on the patient's vital signs, and Doctor Kij's orders.

"Blood pressure is stable," she reported. "The internal bleeding seems to be subsiding."

"Good," said Jayla, finishing up on the ribs and taking up her tricorder again. "Yes, it looks like everything is patching up nicely. I'll give that-" she indicated the regenerator, "-a few more minutes, though." She moved on to the broken arm, which had to be set first. She injected him with a local anesthetic and while she gave it a minute to take effect, she pulled out her tricorder again and did a few more scans. She quickly injected his foot with local anesthetic, too, as there was a broken bone there that needed to be set, and his shoulder, as it was broken in several places. Once that was done she went back to the arm and began setting the breaks.

Cha'Lìn began shifting uncomfortably. He'd heard the sound of setting bones, and he was growing a paler shade of blue. T'Lura made a mental evaluation of the guard's weight, should they need to administer any medication.

Once the bones were set and regenerating, Jayla relaxed a little and studied her tricorder again. She removed the regenerator from his abdomen and replaced it on his ribs- there was a bit of bleeding there. Studying the tricorder readings, her brow furrowed. "What in the name of...?" she trailed off. She chose a different setting and scanned again. "He's been... the link with the symbiote has been chemically blocked!" she announced, shocked. "Who would do such a thing? Unless..." She stared off into blank space for a few moments, then blinked. "If the connection between symbiote and host is blocked, a telepath can get in and pretend to be the symbiote, but only if he was recently joined...."

She went to the nearest computer and pulled up his file. "Aha!" she exclaimed. "Just as I suspected! He was joined only six months ago! Someone got in and blocked the connection between Temerant and Bast, then interposed themselves between them. They've likely been controlling him this whole time! I need blood samples. We have to figure out how to undo this. I'm going to have to contact the symbiosis commission. I have never in all my life-!"

It was clear that Jayla was appalled, enraged, and disgusted by this turn of events. She was so angry that she didn't know what to do first- take the samples or contact the symbiosis commission for advice.

T'Lura fetched the necessary equipment, and drew a vial of blood. "He is young," she stated. "No doubt he was impressionable. By breaking the connection between host and symbiont, they isolated his mind, leaving him susceptible to telepathic corruption."

She adjusted the scanners, and set them to focus on the interconnection between host and symbiont. "Terazapine levels are far too low," she reported. "Could they have used a blocker?"

"That's possible," answered Jayla, studying her tricorder. For once, she was not smiling. Her brow was furrowed and her lips were set in a very thin line. She shook her head. "I can't tell from this. We're going to have to test for it. You got the samples?"

T'Lura handed her the blood sample she'd extracted from Bast. There was little doubt in her mind that Kij's concern had doubled at the mention of terazapine levels, as it was the main neural transmitter involved in the neural link between host and symbiont. She also made a mental note to scan Kij herself, to ensure her own link was healthy.

Jayla was thinking the same thing as she took the sample from the nurse. "Maybe we should check all joined Trills on board," she suggested quietly. "Just in case."

T'Lura nodded. It was logical, but for one slight detail. "We shoud first try to determine what it is that we need to check."

Jayla nodded. "Absolutely," she said. "And how to fix it." She looked at sample in her hand and hesitated. Should she contact the symbiosis commission now or wait until they had more information. Perhaps, if she could isolate a substance that was blocking terazapine, she could find out how to restore the levels or counteract the drug- if there was one. "Okay," she said finally. "Let's test this. There is a remote possibility that the problem is natural- that there is a problem with him and nobody sabotaged his joining. I doubt it, but it's possible."

Bast stirred slightly on the biobed. T'Lura moved to his side, and looked at the readings on the biobed. "The phaser stun is wearing off," she reported. "He must be in extreme pain from the physical trauma."

"He shouldn't be," replied Jayla, crossing to the biobed and pulling out her tricorder. "I gave him a pretty strong pain killer. We should probably keep him sedated, though. There's nothing like rest to remove the last of the pain."

T'Lura pressed a hypospray to Bast's neck, injecting him with a sedative. The lieutenant was still. The nurse turned back to Dr. Kij, waiting for her next orders.

Jayla nodded, watching the readout on the tricorder. All signs showed he was sleeping deeply. "All right," she said. "Let's see what's blocking the terazapine, shall we?"

* * * * * * *
One hour later
* * * * * * *

"He seems to be responding to the treatment," reported T'Lura. "Terazapine levels have increased by twelve percent."

"Good," said Jayla, breathing a sigh of relief. "I'll feel much better when they're back to normal. Keep it steady, though, I don't want to rush it."

"Yes, Doctor," replied T'Lura. She approached the ship's Chief Medical Officer with a tricorder. "Now if you don't mind, now that we know what we're looking for..."

"Absolutely," said Jayla, allowing the nurse to run the necessary scans. Rationally, she knew there was little chance of the link to her own symbiote being interrupted- she had been joined far too long- but she wasn't taking any chances. She was going to check the one other joined Trill she knew of on board, and then she was going to run a search and make sure there were no others. Better safe than sorry.

The Bast symbiont was still floating in a sea of chaos, but this time the painkillers and the sedatives were making the ride a little more enjoyable. It could no longer feel blood from the Host's injuries, and it had stopped worrying about another change of Hosts, so soon after the last one. The transfer from one host to the next was exhausting for the symbiont, and changing host so soon could have jeopardized its health. The silence was still present -

The symbiont paused its thoughts. It had heard something. Very faint. Distant voices. I'm in here, it wanted to shout. But of course it couldn't shout.

Jayla's hand went to her abdomen as she wondered about her own connection to the Kij symbiote. She felt as if she were hearing it, but could she be sure. Obviously, Temerent hadn't realized that he wasn't hearing Bast, after all. "How does it look?" she asked the nurse.

T'Lura examined her tricorder readings. "Your terazapine levels are a bit low, but within the norm. Have you been feeling fatigued lately? Litterature suggests that fatigue, unusual exertion or some bacterial infections may affect terazapine levels slightly."

"That's probably what it is," said Jayla nodding. "This whole situation with the consortium has me stressed. And this has me stressed, too," she added, gesturing to the man on the bio bed. "How's he looking?" she asked.

T'Lura checked the display on the biobed. "Now at twenty-five percent of normal."

There it was again. The voices. The Bast symbiont tried to clear its mind, and reached out to touch Temerant's. But of course, the silence was still there in Temerant's thoughts. That much was obvious from the amount of sedative - if it could break through the symbiotic barrier, the dose had to be fairly high.

"Well, that's something," replied Jayla. "Improving. Slow and steady. I don't want to rush this and ruin his chances."

"Indeed," agreed the Vulcan. She moved to her terminal, and tapped a few commands. "A quick search of the available literature reveals no known substances that can selectively block terazapine. All known terazapine blockers also block other neurotransmitters. This substance did not originate in the Alpha quadrant."

"That's... disturbing," said Jayla. She gazed at the Trill laying on the bed before her. "I wonder if it would work on someone whose bond is secure."

T'Lura cocked an eyebrow. "Are you volunteering to test this substance on yourself?" she asked dubiously. She collected the vial. "I will have someone send this to the biochemistry lab. I'm sure Doctor Reichs can isolate and replicate the active agent."

The voices seemed to be closer. The Bast symbiont was no longer blind and deaf. It was still groggy from all the drugs that had been injected, but clear-headed enough to send a rush of adrenaline through Temerant's system.

Temerant gasped loudly, inhaling deeply and very loudly. Everyone turned to look at the biobed. Cha'Lìn, the Andorian security guard, reached for his phaser. Temerant grasped Kij's arm, and drew her closer to his ear.

He whistered in her ear, his voice raspy and worn, fighting for breath, and exerting himself with every second. "Roget..." He coughed. "Terlexa..." His voice was getting weaker with every syllable. "Consortium," he managed to speak finally. He collapsed back on the biobed, and lost consciousness once again.


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