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Patient Zero

Posted on 26 May 2016 @ 3:47am by Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Ensign Xavier Hernandez & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh

Mission: Outbreak
Location: Yolvanda II
Timeline: MD 10 1100 - 1300 Hours

Camila headed to the armory after the Captain left her quarters and grabbed the modified belts that Lieutenant Cooper had thought of and made sure to security it firmly in place against her leg. The other Security officers were currently loading their up and she nodded approvingly as they double-checked each other and made a few minor adjustments to the placement of the gear which went in the belt.

Once everyone was set, the Security Chief led them to the shuttle bay where they split up into three squads, each composed for five personnel with an assigned leader. She would lead her own squad of Ensigns Hollingworth and Hernandez, Chief Warrant Gutierrez and Warrant Officer Barns. Each leader had a copy of the PADD which Captain Geisler had given her and each had a targeted area to check for the persons of interest which were suspected to be Patient Zero.

When everyone had their orders, the Security shuttles were given clearance and headed for Yolvanda II to find the source of the virus which had laid so many people low. Camila piloted hers to the district where she and Temerant had first encountered someone with the virus since a few of the first deaths had occurred in that area.

The shuttle landed and Camila exited the shuttle with Hollingsworth, Barns and Gutierrez behind her. "Okay. You three go check out the leads to the south. Me and Ensign Hernandez will take the south."

With that, Barns, Gutierrez and Hollingsworth headed off to try to see if they can learn something while Camila pulled out a tricorder and accessed a local map. "When me and Lieutenant Bast were here on shore leave, we had gone to a small bar where a Paradan had started to hallucinate and the bartender wasn't far behind him."

Xavier nodded. "How long ago was that?" he asked.

"Ten days ago," she responded. "Which is the time the virus takes to kill. Let's see if anyone knows what happened to them." With that, she headed down the street and looked for the bar that she had been at with Bast.

Hernandez followed her and looked around as they walked. "It's a shame the place is so deserted, but with the virus taking so many lives, a lot of people left the planet as soon as the quarantine was lifted. Is that the bar over there?" he asked as he pointed to the left.

“Sharp eye, Ensign” Camila said as she checked for traffic and crossed the street with him behind her. Sure enough, it was the same bar where the sick Paradan has flipped out, but the clientele was much different as well as a different bartender behind the bar. This time, instead of a gloomy atmosphere, the place was much more lively and she waited until Hernandez caught up with her. “Go ask around and see if anyone remembers the Paradan. I'm going to check with bartender.”

Xavier nodded and headed off towards a group of native Yolvandan's who seemed to be having a wonderful time at a table. "Ensign Hernandez with Starfleet," he announced himself. "I was wondering if anyone of you would have heard about a Paradan male who caused some trouble in here about ten days ago."

One of the Yolvandan's looked Xavier up and down, then turned his head. "Only Paradan 'around here is one that you wouldn't want to deal with."

"Don't listen to Hirschomp," another one said. "He sold his DNA for less than what he'd get for a week of honest labor. I heard about the Paradan last week, but you're too late. He's dead."

"Dead?" Xavier frowned. "Well, thank you, anyway." He hoped that the man was mistaken because he knew the Chief wasn't going to be happy as he headed back to the bar where she was.

Camila went up to the bar and ordered a non-alcoholic drink. "I see there's a lively look about the place compared to the last time I was here," she said amiably.

"Yeah, it helps when people aren't going sleep-deprived or wrecking the place," the bartender said. "Glad to see that Starfleet managed to beat that thing. Nasty business. How can I help you since it's obvious you aren't going to be buying any real drinks?"

Camila laughed and took a drink of her nectar. "Observant. I like that. I was here a week and a half ago and saw the last bartender beating on some crazed Paradan. Any news on what happened?"

"They died," the bartender said with a bit of indifference. "Well, the bartender died, but the Paradan...died and came back."

Camila blinked. "Died and came back? Explain, please." She dug into a pouch and put some local currency onto the bar.

The bartender swept them into his hand and put them under the bar. "Paradan's are masters of making replicants. Exact duplicates of a person right down to the last memory at the time of genetic donation. Sort of an immortal backup plan, in a way. Anyway, the one you're talking about knew something was wrong and made a replicant of himself. When he died, the other was revived and he's back about his business again."

"Very handy," Camila said as she put some more local currency on the bar to keep the bartender talking. "Do you know what that business is or where he can be found?"

"He deals in junk technology for the most part," the bartender told her as he made the currency disappear once again. "He buys, finds, salvages tech, revamps it and sells it for any kind of profit he can get. He usually hangs out at The Twisted Nacelle over on Bluntar Street, but I heard him say he's due to get off planet soon. If you want to catch him, I'd be quick."

"Thank you," Camila said as she gave him a generous tip right as Ensign Hernandez came up.

"Bad news, Lieutenant," Xavier said. "The Paradan is dead that you were looking for."

"The reports of his death are greatly exaggerated," Camila said as she turned from the bar. "He's alive and well, for now at least. We need to get to Bluntar Street. Come on." With that, she headed for the door with the Ensign in tow.

Shep lead the break-off group in the direction the Lieutenant had instructed. It almost seemed too daunting of a task, but there were two other teams on the surface with them. There was a lot of ground to cover and a small amount of time to do it in. But that was the norm for them, for Starfleet, that is. His thoughts were broken by Warrant Officer Barns.

“Okay,” said Sali, as they continued walking into their part of the city. “I’ve been thinking about something.” Since they had gotten the list and been told who they were searching for, something had been bothering her. Well, not really ‘bothering’ her, but more like eating at her.

“Well, spit it out,” said Ensign Hollingsworth. “What’s on your mind?” Warrant Officer Barns was a good Tactical officer, and if something didn’t sound or seem right to her, she would keep chasing it until she caught it.

“The combination that we’re looking for,” she said. “What in the world would be the common denominator between some Wadi and a Karemma? Let alone the Varanoid. Think about it,” she said. “What is a big difference between them? What are they known for?” The fact that they were looking for five individuals that were different in more ways than appearances didn’t make any sense to her.

“Huh. That’s a good point,” said Gutierrez. “The Wadi are engrossed in games and gambling, especially Chula. The Karemma are a trade oriented race, they were part of the Dominion, and they can’t stand cheaters or gamblers. And the Varanoid are so peaceful and non-aggressive that they may as well be the Gamma Grazerites.”

“Very good,” said Hollingsworth. “Now, let’s figure out that common denominator fast. We’re almost to the city and we need to start somewhere. Suggestions?”

“Three gamblers, one anti-gambler, and a non-aggressive,” said Sali. “No way they were all at a Dabo table or something like that.”

“Agreed,” said Gutierrez. “But what about a restaurant or that big market thing that everyone was raving over?” Ricardo rolled his eyes as he added that last comment.

Shep nodded. “I think the market is a good place to start; a trading Karemma, a non-aggressive Varanoid, and three Wadi who were probably trying to talk everyone down on their prices. Let’s go there.”

The three security officers made their way into the city and the area where the market used to be set-up. The booths were as empty as the streets, with the exception of a few vendors. But for the most part, everyone was gone. Shep shook his head as he thought how negatively this whole thing was affecting the New Risan economy.

“Is there something I can do for you three?” asked one of the vendors. He came out from around his booth and up to the Starfleet officers.

“Ensign Hollingsworth, Startfleet Security,” he spoke. “We’re here regarding an incident that happened in the city ten days ago. Do you remember some Wadi, Karemma, or a Varanoid that passed through the market at about that time?”

The shopkeeper laughed. “Do you know how many people pass through here from all over this quadrant and the Alpha Quadrant? There is no way that I can keep track of all of them. But, a few days ago, there was a time mourning for several individuals. They were not from here, so professional mourners were hired to attend their deaths.” He pointed in the general direction of the burial grounds.

“Thank you,” said Ensign Hollingsworth. “You have been a big help.” With that, he and his team turned and headed in the direction that the shopkeeper indicated.

As they got closer to the grounds, Sali noticed two freshly heaped piles of dirt. “It looks like we’ve found the right place,” she said. She went on ahead and saw that there were three hermetically sealed containers, each mounted to it’s own large stone, beside them. She pointed to the two stones buried in the ground near the heaps of dirt. “Varanoid and Karemma. I’d assume these three are the Wadi,” she said, pointing to the containers.

Ricardo and Shep moved to either side of her. They both shook their heads. They suspected that Lieutenant Di Pasquale was probably not going to like this. Ricardo pulled out his tricorder and scanned each final resting place. “She’s right,” he said. “Scans of the remains indicate three Wadi, one Karemma, and one Varanoid.”

Hollingsworth tapped his combadge. “Ensign Hollingsworth to Lieutenant Di Pasquale. The three Wadi, the Karemma, and the Varanoid are dead. We’re looking at their burial sites right now. Tricorder scans of the remains confirm each species.”

=^=Acknowledged=^= Camila said. =^=We have a possible lead on a victim who survived and are on our way to The Twisted Nacelle on Bluntar Street. Meet up with us there. Di Pasquale out.=^= She nodded to Hernandez. "Confirmation of the dead is no where near as good as a confirme living one," she said. "Let's get to him."

Xavier nodded. "I hope we get to him in time," he said as he walked with the Security Chief.

A short time later, the two of them entered Bluntar Street and made their way down the block as they looked for the shop where the Paradan was rumored to have been.

The trip from the burial grounds back up to Buntar Street was a long one. Ensign Hollingsworth expected to arrive shortly after the Lieutenant and her team. And he was right. As they were walking up the inclined side street that intersected with Buntar, Warrant Officer Barns pointed between two buildings. They could see the Security Chief and Ensign Hernandez through the alley. A few minutes later, they rounded the corner onto Buntar and were in full view of the Lieutenant.

The Twisted Nacelle is the name of the place we’re looking for,” said Hollingsworth. “Keep your eyes open.”

"There it is," Camila said as she spotted what looked like a trading center with a few people going in and out of it with a picture of a warp nacelle in neon at the entrance. She was about to take her combadge when she saw Hollingsworth and the others and changed her action to waving a hand at them.

"Just in time," Xavier said. "We'll be able to cover more ground here."

“Look over there,” said Gutierrez, “Lieutenant Di Pasquale is waving.”

Hollingsworth looked down the street and saw the rest of the squad he had beamed down with. “Maybe they have already found this place. Let’s go see what else we need to know.” The Ensign and his team walked up to the Security Chief. “Ma’am,” he said, “should we check for a back or side exit? Just in case?”

"I only have a visual on the Paradan we're looking for," Camila said. "However, stop any you see just in case. I'll contact you the moment I make contact." With a nod for Hernandez to follow her into The Twisted Nacelle, she headed inside.

Inside was a chaos of tables, stalls, vendors and races of every description from all over the Gamma Quadrant.

"Woah," Xavier said. "This is like a bizarre bazaar of epic proportions. How are we going to find one Paradan in all of this?"

"One step at a time, Ensign," Camila said. "We're going to need help on this. You take the left and I'll take the right." She tapped her combadge. =^=Di Pasquale to Hollingsworth. Could you come in the back way and start looking? This place is bigger than I thought.=^=

Shep hit his combadge in reply. =^=Understood. I’m on my way in. Hollingsworth out.=^= He turned to the others, “Stay here and keep watch.” Hollingsworth entered thorough the back door and immediately saw the reason for his being called in. This place was huge! It seemed bigger on the inside than it looked on the outside. He started walking around as casually as one could in a Starfleet uniform with a pack belt and a phaser.

Xavier headed down the left side and checked stall after vendor after stall, quickly dismissing most of them as the occupants weren't Paradan. After ten minutes of looking, he shook his head. "What am I doing?" he muttered before he tapped his combadge and pulled out his tricorder. =^=Hernandez to away team one. We can find our target faster if we use our tricorders to scan for Paradan lifesigns=^=

Camila laughed when she heard Hernandez "Now why didn't I think of that?" she asked herself before she activated her tricorder and tapped her combadge. =^=Good thinking, Ensign.=^= With that, she looked at her tricorder and saw that four Paradans showed up on it and transferred the locations to the other two personnel in the bazaar with her and headed for the nearest one.

Shep acknowledged Xavier and pulled out his tricorder. He saw the Paradan life signs and went to the nearest one. This one was a vendor who wasn’t willing to leave his shop. It took more than a bit of convincing on Shep’s part to get the Paradan to accompany him. The game changer was when he put his hand on his phaser and repeated his request. Ensign Hollingsworth had no plans to use his weapon. It was more of a persuasive technique than anything. And it worked. The Paradan went with Shep to the rendezvous point.

Xavier found and rounded up two more who were at a stall trying to sell replicants to people and hadn't had much luck. He brought them to the checkpoint and looked around. "Hey, Hollingsworth. Have you seen Lieutenant Di Pasquale?"

Shep looked at Xavier, “No, not yet. This place is so big, she could be anywhere.” He had no idea and he wasn't about to let go of the Paradan. He'd had enough of a problem convincing him to come along peaceably.

Suddenly, the Security Chief's voice came over their combadges, sounding out of breath. =^=Close all exits! Suspect is running!=^=

Camila chased the Paradan down an aisle when he suddenly took a left and vanished for a moment, but her tricorder told her where he was. She had approached the man and had barely said more than four words to him about the virus when he had bolted. With no choice, she had to follow him and hope that the other officers had the front exit as well as the back exit covered.

Xavier tapped his combadge =^=I'll cover the front, Lieutenant=^= he said before he headed for the front of the place and motioned for Shep to go help the Chief.

Ricardo and Sali heard the comm chatter and took up positions outside the back exit. Both of them had their phasers in hand, ready for the worst.

Shep left the Paradan he had standing there, not really caring at the moment if he got away. The one that ran from the Chief was probably their guy anyway. He pulled out his tricorder and saw the life sign of the quickly moving Paradan. He glanced at the tricorder while on the run and thought it best to try to corner the suspect. Or at least head him off.

Camila was running the Paradan down just as the aisle ended and turned sharply to the left and she glanced at her tricorder to see the combadge signal of Hollingsworth coming from that direction. "Stop!" she shouted. "We don't want to arrest you! We just want to talk!"

The Paradan wasn't having it and ran for the corner, knowing that it led deeper into the maze of vendors and was in the process of figuring out who owed him a favor and could hide him in one of their stalls.

Shep was running down the aisle and saw it end. At least that’s what it looked like. He glimpsed at his tricorder one last time before stowing it. As soon as he looked back up, he saw the Paradan. The aisle must have taken a sharp turn at its false end. “Ensign Hollingsworth, Starfleet Security,” he said, panting. “Slow down there. We need to ask you some questions.”

The Paradan skidded to a stop when the other Starfleet officer came around the corner. He looked back and saw the senior officer coming behind him. "I didn't do it! It killed me, too!"

Camila drew her phaser and approached. "I remember you from the bar where you were hallucinating," she said. "I'm Lieutenant Di Pasquale, the Chief of Security for the USS Black Hawk and we're not here to arrest you. We just need information. Specifically, what are you talking about which killed you?"

He grunted and looked around. "Not here. Too many eyes and ears." Sure enough, curious onlookers had started to gather. "I need to get off this planet, anyway. Bad business with that virus. If you can get me to your ship and guarantee me safe passage out of this system, I'll give you what you want to know."

"I can get you to our ship," Camila said. "But I can't guarantee anything. Only the Captain can make those guarantees."

The Paradan considered it for a moment, then nodded. "Then come with me and see if what I have is good enough to present to the Captain."

Camila smiled. "That, I can do." She tapped her combadge =^=Di Pasquale to Away teams. Report back at the shuttles in one hour.=^= She waited until she got acknowledgements, then led the Paradan out of The Twisted Nacelle and saw Hernandez by the front. "We have who we were looking for, but we have to keep him safe until we get back to the shuttles."

"Got it, Lieutenant," Xavier said as he waited for the rest of their away team to catch up.

Shep followed the Lieutenant and the Paradan out. He watched as the others came from around the back of the building and joined them. Then he turned to Xavier. “Safety in numbers as they say. Should we keep an eye for anything suspicious?”

"Yes," Camila said as she motioned for the Paradan to lead the way. "What is your name?" she asked him.

"Saduk," the Paradan told her. "There will be nothing dangerous where I am taking you." He assured her and headed across the street from the bazaar where they had been and through an alley. He turned right on the next street and came to a stop by an apartment building. "This is where I was staying."

Camila nodded to her personnel. "Cover the front and back entrance. Hollingsworth, come with us."

"Yes, Lieutenant," Xavier said before he headed to the back entrance.

Camila motioned for Saduk to lead the way again and he entered the apartment after entering a code and headed to the turbolift. "Keep an eye out for anyone that may take too much interest in us, Hollingsworth," she told the officer with her.

Gutierrez and Barns covered the front entrance as the others went inside. They started keeping a cautious eye on everyone and everything around them.

Shep followed Lieutenant Di Pasquale and Saduk into the building. “Yes, ma’am,” said the Ensign. “Eyes open for anyone who takes a shine to our group.” He kept scanning every area and every person that they passed. He felt a little safer once they entered the turbolift.

Saduk exited the turbolift on the eighth floor and led them down to an apartment where he keyed in another code. Inside was a small furnished apartment and almost every inch of floor space was filled with crates, devices and all manner of items. "Excuse the mess. I'm a trader and people want many things."

"Never mind that," Camila said. "What's this thing you seemed so worried about?"

"Worried about?" Saduk asked in disbelief. "I said it killed me!" He mumbled something under his breath and picked his way to the bedroom, which had been stripped of everything except a forcefield containment device that held a device the size of a class two probe.

Camila stepped up to the edge of the forcefield and narrowed her eyes. "This is a Starfleet Class Two probe!" she gasped. She reached up to tap her combadge. =^=Di Pasquale to away teams. Everyone report back to the shuttles and depart for the ship. Me and Hollingsworth will transport up with the person of interest.=^=

=^=Acknowledge=^= Xavier reported back as he caught up with Barns and Guitierrez. "Let's get back to the shuttle. It sounds like the Chief found what she was looking for."

"You got it," said Guiterrez. "Sounds like our work here is done."

"And you," said Sali, "never fail in your attempt to state the obvious."

"Hey!" exclaimed Ricardo. The two fell in step with Xavier, heading back to the shuttle.

"Wait..." Saduk said a bit sadly as he went into another room, gesturing for the Starfleet officer to follow him.

Camila followed and saw the Paradan kneeling over a humanoid-sized stasis unit.

"This was my original body," he said a bit sadly. "I want to bring it as well."

"The one that was infected?" Camila asked him.

"Yes. I found the probe in this body and was the first to be infected that I know of," he said. "Perhaps it can be of use to your medical people."

Camila nodded, finding it quite creepy. "That won't be a problem." She tapped her combadge after pulling out several transponders and put one on the stasis unit, one on the Paradan and went back to place one on the forcefield containment unit. =^=Di Pasquale to Black Hawk. Three to beam up and two items to be beamed directly to medical under quarantine.=^= she said.

=^=Acknowledged, Lieutenant=^= the voice of the transporter operator said. A moment later, the stasis unit, force field container with the class two probe vanished, followed by the away team.

Back on the ship, Ensign Hollingsworth turned to Lieutenant Di Pasquale. "Do you want me to check on the units in Sickbay or accompany you and and Saduk?" He wasn't sure where they were going, but it could have been back to her office. They weren't arresting him, so it wasn't the Brig or Interrogation. Wherever it was, he ready to help out.

"Go to Sickbay with the units," Camila said after a moment. "I'll take Saduk to see the Captain."

“Yes, ma’am,” said Ensign Hollingsworth. “I’ll make sure everything is secure and under quarantine.” He left the transporter room, heading for sickbay.


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