Camp Falkirk

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Decay

Posted on 06 Feb 2018 @ 6:12pm by Commander Anson Corduke MD (*) & Major Minka Mazur MD (*) & Major Shaun Bradley & Petty Officer 1st Class K`rilim Nsslano

Mission: M3 - Politico
Location: Infimary
Timeline: MD1 - Approx. three hours following The Fallen


The pilot of the runabout came in hard and fast, the craft having bypassed the current lockdown of orbit that would normally require a craft to hold orbit while scanned and cleared for landing at the facility. Instead, two Raptors escorted the craft through the formed cloud cover, wingtips mere meters away from the Danube-class' nacelles. As the walls of Camp Falkirk came into view, a few warning sensors triggered as the wall mounted automated defenses tracked the craft; a small deviation from the course would surely result in the complete decimation of the vessel. Instead, the pilot maintained a smooth and level approach, and as the walls rushed towards them, the fighters broke their escort and returned to their search patterns in the skies. From here, nothing short of a full-fledged starship could survive the approach, with the massive bay doors opening up to reveal the waiting hangar deck, and the C3-ASAR pieces pointed at them.

Throttling down for an angled landing, the craft cleared the first bit and was met with a full escort. On the deck ten armed Marines stood, weapons leveled on the hatch, with medical teams standing by, waiting. The facility was on red alert, and no one was taking any chances, especially when the radio call came in that there was an enemy contact being brought in. As the hatch hummed open, the Marines were met by the two from the planet, standing over the body of the fallen soldier, their own weapons slung.

"Is he dead?" Doctor Mazur asked as she waddled as swiftly as she could into the hatch pulling her medical tricorder out but looking expectantly to the two Marines that had just landed. When neither of them had an answer, she sighed and flipped the node out to begin scanning, glancing back at K`rilim pacing in behind her. "What happened?" she asked quietly, surveying the immediate results of the scan apprehensively.

"New aggressors left behind a scouting party, this was one of those members," tagged in McKinley, who nodded towards the unmoving alien. "It looked a little off-put, was wandering around. Commander didn't take well to that and executed this one. Or, at least, that was what it looked like." The Corporal offered a shrug, the Marine do-all, end-all response. "From what we could figure out, probably some kind of weapon to inflict as much pain as possible, if I had to hazard a guess."

K padded behind Mazur, a trauma kit slung over his shoulder, and a second medkit hefted with a paw. As the Major looked over the readings on her device, the Caitian produced his own and ran his own check over the unconscious creature. With a flick of an ear, he glanced at the Major and then at the Corporal as he gave his brief report.

"Did you get a look at the.. er.. device that did this? Any energy readings? What happened when he got hit?"

"Nope, best we can tell it was a standard looking firearm. We still don't know enough about them to get a better reading, so we're just guessing," the Corporal nodded to the near-dead Alien. "Everything we got was from basic field tricorders, and there were no odd energy signs, no radiation. Just him laying in a growing pool of his own organs."

K frowned, glancing down at his tricorder as it breezed through a variety of algorithms and spat out anomalous results. With a raised brow, he would guess the Corporal's analysis was fair enough; the strange creature was indeed suffering from sort of cascade effect of multiple system shutdowns. Though he couldn't readily identify the creature, nor what each reading he was seeing was supposed to mean, but the fact that they were trickling down kind of gave a hint. Though essentially alien to them, they'd need a more thorough scan in the Infirmary in order to tell anything; most humanoid-esque creatures were laid out in the same manner, though things tended to work a little differently. Regardless, a circulatory system needed a pump, needed conduits to pump through, etc.

"Major, I think we need to get.. er.. it.. back to the Infirmary, pronto. I'm sure you're seeing the same thing I'm seeing, but it's hard to make heads or tails of this without knowing a little bit more about what's going on from the inside," he waved a paw back towards the 'Kirk, "and if we can help.. 'Any enemy of an enemy is a friend'."

"We don't know that this is an enemy." Doctor Mazur replied succinctly, "But agreed. Let's get them back to the Infirmary, stat." she said, stowing her tricorder and waving for the more capable Marines (as in non-pregnant) to secure the patient and get them moving. As they began the quick egress from the shuttle Minka tapped the badge on her medical coat, "Mazur to Captain Rota. I need a security detail to the Infirmary - we may have an enemy combatant." she declared, waiting until she heard the Captain's affirmation before tapping it again. "Mazur to Doctor Corduke. Please meet me in the infirmary, we may need your expertise," she added, tailing the group of medical officers shuttling the injured being forward as quickly as was prudent.

As they all hustled into the turbolift and Mazur ordered them to the appropriate deck, informing the computer of a medical emergency so that it would prioritize their movement through the lift without stopping for anyone else, she turned to the terminal on the wall and quietly informed the Major General what was happening as well as secured the necessary equipment they were going to need once they got their patient secured.

K squeezed in with the last few that managed into the lift, sweeping his tail clear of the hatch as it slid shut. He was trying his hardest to keep a low profile, though the rotation schedule had put him uncomfortably under the watchful eyes of Mazur and Lieutenant Miller whenever possible. The pair were in the lift with him, though further in and closer to the veritable corpse on the sled. At the mention of Corduke in Mazur's transmission, his ears drooped back; he'd been trying to avoid that man for some time, nearly sneaking into ASECO for his duties and sneaking out so the odd man wouldn't catch him in another conversation. The man was simply odd.

"These are strange..." Doctor Mazur mused as they rode, now shaking her head at the tricorder readings the assisting nurse was getting from her scans beside her. "Almost as if..." she shook her head, trailing off. "We'll get a full scan and we can have a more precise reading. There could be radiation or residual weapons energy throwing our tricorders.

The Caitian was brought out of his reverie by the CMO's statement, glancing down at his PaDD which had been similarly linked to the sled, as had all the medical personnel's. With a twitch of both ear and tale, the black furred felinoid watched a series of numbers tick steadily up, while another set likewise ticked down; he had no idea what either reading meant. Did this thing have anything resembling a blood pressure or a heart rate? It was far too easy to misinterpret the data without some form of context or comparison. If they even knew what it was, perhaps that'd help even more. The scarred armor covered the alien like a carapace, and where the armor didn't cover a dark fur protruded roughly. On a rough guess, K surmised the species was no stranger to unrelenting weather, and especially a climate similar to that of Catus XI. He off-handedly wondered if they were inhabitants of one of the other moons in the system, but really it was neither here nor there at the moment. What concerned him most was the way the numbers trickled down on one of the readings; things going down were almost never good, no matter the supposed vital sign they registered. The creature was breathing, he could hear it now in the closer confines of the lift and without all the background noise that boomed along the landing pad. It was ragged and slow, a nearly gasping noise with an underlying rattle. A more clear indicator of trouble there could not be. Altogether it reminded him of a fish out of water, trying desperately to breathe. It seemed several of the others hadn't noticed, being involved in one dialog or another and tending to their own business as the lift sped on.

"Er, excuse me," he tried to shoulder his way forward slightly, but the number of bodies in the lift prevented him from doing more than jostling a few folks who turned to him with annoyed expressions, "I think we have a bit of a problem here.."

"I can't determine if it's the equipment or not. I've never seen a crash like this. We need to get him on life support regardless." Mazur exclaimed, trying not to get over-animated. As she looked up to see their progress the doors answered and opened out onto the Infirmary deck. "Let's move!" she ordered, all but shoving the sled out herself.

As they exited a small collection of nurses were already waiting, one of whom handed Minka a small kit which she took in hand and then mounted the side of the sled on one knee knowing that she wasn't going to be able to keep up at her own waddling gait and needed to move quickly. She snapped the case open and took out the cortical simulator and cardiovascular regulating device and began securing those to the patient with as much speed and dexterity as she could manage on a moving sled.

"I want a full scan." Minka ordered as they were pushed along, "...toxicology and database comparison to anything in the Starfleet Medical archives. We may have seen this species before and just don't realize it."

The staff quickly followed their orders as Doctor Mazur got out of their way, there to help in those few touch and go moments just after their arrival but soon less and less of a concern as they managed to at least prevent any further degradation of the patient's condition. It was a stop gap at best though and nowhere near a true solution, but for now, that's what they needed while they worked out exactly what was wrong. Standing before the largest of the terminal displays in the Infirmary, Minka drew both hands across her face with frustration as she read the scans and looked back over her shoulder at K`rilim and Doctor Corduke who had arrived sometime after the patient had been stabilized. The elder Physician had his arms folded, one hand scratching the edge of his chin and the five o'clock creeping in.

"It doesn't make any logical sense..." Duke sighed, waving a hand at the terminal. "We stabilize cardiovascular function, pulmonary function degrades, fix that and then he loses control of his bowels and we have that mess. Settle that and we're back to cardiovascular issues. It's as if his body is fighting something and shifting the load, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it's fighting... his physiology isn't that different from what we've seen... but then it is..." he complained pensively.

K had trotted over towards a group of corpsmen, carefully avoiding Corduke as he moved. The Caitian rolled his eyes at the man's muttering, wondering what 'logic' had to do with anything; the 'Doctor' was certainly more geared towards scientific research than he was with anything remotely close to medicine. A few HA's snapped to as K trotted up, tossing his PaDD to one of them, while the others cleared the way for the sled that was being pushed up to an ICU biobed. Several of the other Corpsmen moved across the bay, bringing out various pieces of equipment and comparing notes, while a team of Medical Officers and a few nurses surged forth to take a crack at the job. K stood back a bit as the more qualified folks pushed in, stepping in only to hand off equipment as his peers were doing. The readings on an overhead monitor flashed back and forth, mirroring what they had seen before on the brief trip up to the Infirmary.

"We'll need to get this.. this.. armor off," a rather pale looking Lieutenant doing his residency glanced around, as others nodded in agreement.

With a nod, K and several other corpsmen moved up, and began inspecting the armor covering the creature; luckily it didn't take any stretch of the imagination to figure out how it connected or articulated, so locating the endpoints were easy enough. With only a few frustrating moments, the armor was doffed, to reveal a roughly ape-like creature supine upon the biobed. The dark, coarse fur that had shown in places between the armor covered a fair portion of the creature, though was obviously shorter around the face and extremeties. The creature closely resemembled an overly large primate, though there were stark differences that made the relationship distant, if at all.

"Let's have another look at blood chemistry." Duke chimed in, joining them all after the hard work of unwrapping their guest was done, a point not missed by most of those helping. Ignoring the eye-rolls, he pressed a hypo-gun to the patients chest under where the armor had been and began watching the readings now narrowing his eyes as if he might have found a breadcrumb. But despite his hope, he still shook his head, not understanding what he was reading. Frowning, he put the hypo aside and was reaching for the cortical scanner when a small hand touched his and stopped him. Confused, he looked over to see Doctor Mazur gripping his wrist with an expression that brokered no argument. That in itself was enough to give him pause. Mazur was a consummate professional and knew just as well as he did the need for urgency in treating this patient, so for her to be standing there calmly as if there was no need to hurry immediately put him on edge.

"I know what's happening." Minka said softly, briefly glancing to the patient and then back at Corduke who looked wholly thrown. "Look beyond the chemistry, at the DNA itself..." she said, releasing his hand so he could adjust the readouts on his tricorder. "...it's mutating." she clarified, seeing that he was bringing it up on his screen as well and fully understanding the implications of that.

Duke stared it at for a long moment and then slammed it on the table. He looked to Mazur as if he might say something, thought better of it and instead drew his hand over his face with frustration and paced away from the bio bed towards the exterior windows of the bay that looked out to central atrium of the facility clenching his fists with irritation.

Minka watched him go, sharing his frustration, but instead looked across at K`rilim and the others. "Make him... or her... as comfortable as you can. There's nothing we can do."

K watched the exchange between Duke and Mazur with only mild interest. His attention was mostly on the creature which was obviously expiring in a manner that could not be painless. He was thus shocked when Mazur gave her orders.

"Make.. but Major," K looked between the alien creature and her, "There's got to be something we can do?"

"There is a great deal we could do..." Doctor Mazur sighed, shaking her head. "But it would be a violation of the Prime Directive. We cannot interfere with the natural progression of a species, and I see nothing that would indicate this genetic degradation is artificially induced." Minka continued sadly, which for anyone that dealt with the woman on a regular basis knew that wasn't her normal demeanor - or anywhere close to it. The simple fact was she didn't want to stand there and do nothing. She was a Doctor, she'd sworn the same oath as the rest of them to 'Do No Harm'. But she'd also sworn to follow the laws of the Federation and Starfleet, and the Prime Directive was the most sacred of those.

Rubbing at his temples, Doctor Corduke chimed in. "Unless it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the patient's failing genetic issues are a result of something else."

"Unless." Minka nodded. "All we can do is make him comfortable as possible... but even that may prove difficult as he continues to degrade," she said, followed by a long slow breath, absently patting her stomach. "Doctor Corduke, can you take care of things here. I need to go talk to the General... protocol."

"... yeah." Duke grunted in assent. He didn't like it any more than she did, but they were without options in the matter. Unless someone could find a smoking gun that said otherwise.

K watched as Mazur shuffled out of the bay, presumably towards her office where she would conference with the General regarding the situation. As a corpsman, K`rilim was well versed in the Prime Directive and what they could and couldn't do as medical professionals in Fleet. There'd always been times in history where the rules were bent just a little bit, but such things were the stuff of legends. The Caitian suddenly perked up, and turned to Corduke as the man stood looking out the window.

"Excuse me, Doctor Corduke," K padded up behind the man, "Up on the landing pad, when they brought this.. fella.. in, one of the Marines mentioned him being attacked by his superior; something was discharged on him. That doesn't exactly make this a 'natural progression' does it? I mean, we can't interfere if this is something natural for the species.. but we don't know that.. all we know is that this patient was attacked, had some form of weapon used against him, and now we're here. Don't we have a responsibility here?"

"I think that kind of disruption would be more obvious than this..." Duke shook his head, wanting to believe that was the case but without the empirical evidence to support it, it was just wishful thinking. He looked away and then back, smirking slightly. "We may not have been the first to see this species... the Jad'Lor... maybe they can shed some light on this." It was a possibility that they could at least settle their minds that this wasn't naturally occurring but then again they could confirm it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

K flicked an ear, tilting his head slightly. Corduke was an interesting man, and certainly not someone the Caitian had spent many sessions with. The modicum of 'hope' the man presented had its own share of problems, and everything could be for naught regardless. Truly it would have to be weighed whether or not the effort of going around Mazur's orders was worth it in the end; would the Jad'Lor have anything positive to provide to the situation, or could this being be one of the predators they had seemed to be fleeing? A battlefield was no place to question morality, especially in a war one didn't understand. To pick a side or not, or simply to aid an enemy often had strong consequences no matter the culture. The Dominion War had taught the Federation some hard lessons on trust, and what it took to 'win'.

"Sir," he hesitated a moment, collecting his thoughts before beginning again, "Sir, there are a lot of things out here we don't yet understand; that's why we're out here.. why ASECO is out here. The hard lines between friend and foe can get fuzzy when we as medical professionals get involved. I'd slap a bandage on the same guy who was just shooting at me, just as soon as I would one of my Marines - provided he was neutralized first. I do this job to save lives, or at least do my best to do what I'm trained to do. If there's a chance we can do something.. find out that this is not something natural.. I think we need to do it. If the Jad'Lor know something, we'd be remiss to not check with them first. If nothing else, we'd be no worse off than we are now."

"There's nothing in the Prime Directive that says we can't at least make him comfortable. Take away any pain and treat the wounds he has as if they're really the problem. We may not be able to fully, but... until we get something more concrete that's all we can do." Corduke sighed, "I wish I could tell you something better. Or that it's easier to do this... but I'd be bullshitting you...."

K stared at the man for a moment before nodding, "Aye, aye, Sir. We'll make him comfortable.."

The Caitian veritably trudged back to the bay, ears drooping slightly, though his tail waved behind him in agitation. It frustrated K greatly that he was not allowed to help the creature, though he knew in his gut that what they were seeing before them wasn't anything 'natural.' With a sigh, he relayed the orders to the corpsman tending about, and avidly watched the displays to monitor the situation.



Minka Mazur, MD
Chief Medical Officer
2nd Marine, 5th Medical
Camp Falkirk


Anson 'Duke' Corduke, MD
Chief Medical Officer / Researcher
Starfleet Medical Research Station - Aceso
Camp Falkirk


HM1 K`rilim Nsslano, FMF
Hospital Corpsman
2nd Marine, 5th Medical
Camp Falkirk

 

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