Part of Starbase Bravo: Sundered Wings and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Something has Survived

Central Hospital 1
May 10, 2400
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Central Hospital 1 – Ward 3 Room 3 – 0700

“Thank you, Doctor.”  Longfellow gave the man a nod as he gathered his things and was escorted to his treatment by an orderly.

He turned to Asato, “I think we’re doing pretty well.”  She gave him a look and gestured to the expansive Central Hospital 1 that was full of refugees from all parts of the Romulan Star Empire That Wasn’t – she had taken to calling it that because it made sense to her.

“We’re doing well because everyone’s doing their job well and keeping folks in motion to where they need to go, Sensai.”

Suddenly Longfellow’s communication badge, chirped, =^=Dispatch to Lieutenant Longfellow, you have a priority one message coming in from a USS Lorenza.=^=  Henry felt a frown immediately as he muttered, meeting Asato’s eyes, “That’s Thea’s ship.”  He stepped over to an alcove and signed into the console, activating the communications channel and the face of his wife appeared, ragged and unkempt.  “Thea…”

She shook her head, “This isn’t a social call Henry and we need Bravo’s help.  We picked up a group of about 250 refugees from a settlement just on the border of the Velorum sector.  The Romulan Star Navy left their mark.  We have injured…”

He interrupted her, “You can transport them to the Central Hospital 1 and we can take them from there.  Triage is ready…”

Thea Longfellow shook her head, “That’s not the trouble, husband.  That’s not the least of it.  Someone in the Romulan government got a hold of a sample or somehow got The Teplan Blight into their labs.”  Henry frowned further as he listened, “They’ve genetically modified it to attack Romulans from the colonies, out worlds – the ones they knew would flee or fight.  It hits Vulcans to…”, she sighed, “Whoever this crackpot scientist is, they added an additional layer.  It can infect humans upon exposure to an infected patient…it moves slower through the human physiology…but it still moves.”  There was a long silence as Henry stared at his wife, her eyes filled with resignation and fear…and fury.  He’d seen that look rarely before, and he knew the Lorenza was in trouble.

“What’s your current situation?”  He was aware of Asato watching and listening and a few of the orderlies had drifted over.

“Our captain, a Vulcan, is in intensive care in cryogenic freeze.  The impact on Vulcans is damned fast.  Whoever designed this didn’t want those who would run to help to survive.  Out of the 250 patients, 100 are in serious condition.  50 are showing symptoms, and the remaining 100 are being held in a different part of the ship in hopes we’ve saved them.”  She shook her head, “And before you ask how we humans are doing, not well.  Symptoms are starting to show and we”ve had to cannibalize some areas of the ship to triage care.  I’m not well, Henry.  I need you to know that.  We don’t lie to each other.”

He gave a nod as his throat threatened to swallow him whole and his stomach did a few casual flips.  “How far are you?”

She sighed, coughing roughly, “We’re one hour away.  Your dispatch team suggested I ask you where to go given our situation.”

Henry felt himself wince with each cough and wrestled his emotional control to the floor of his soul and held it in a tight grip.  “We have a dock that we can seal and create a transfer zone.  I’ll have to task some from operations, security, engineering…and whoever else we can scrounge up to make this work.  Who’s in command of your ship?”

She smiled wryly, “Would it surprise you that it’s me?  Our first officer is in intensive care and we don’t have an XO.  Everybody voted me as acting captain and I wasn’t about to argue given how things are here.”  She coughed again and grumbled, “We’re an hour away.  We’re going to get ready on our end to secure our docking…send us what you have as soon as you have it.”  She paused and touched the screen, “I love you, H.  I am glad it’s you.”

Longfellow touched the screen as well, “I love you, T.  I’m glad it was me…but glad it’s Bravo.  We’ve got good people here.”  They stared at each other for a moment longer, afraid of saying too much or too little…or anything at all that might betray that fear both were wrestling with in their hearts.  Henry gave her a nod, “Get here.  We’ll take care of the rest.”  She answered with a nod, and a cough as the channel closed.  He turned to Asato, “We need someone from operations, security, engineering – anybody who can help us secure that docking clamp from this side.  We’re going to have to build a positive pressure system for both sides…and hell, we’re going to have to ensure nothing from that ship comes over here…we’ll need portable equipment that stays onboard the ship, we’ll need biohazard protection suits – a whole bunch, a decontamination area on our side…send the message to those departments.”  Asato took off running with a PADD, tapping away as she did.

Longfellow turned to the ward and sighed, “Transfer all ward 3 personnel to the docking area. Start moving mobile equipment, instruments, mobile biobeds – the works.”  They stared at him for a moment, wide-eyed before he nearly shouted at them, “Time is ticking…we know how to do this.  Move!” And they did.

Auxillary Operations Control – 0710

Cynndle sat at an empty console reviewing reports from the night shift before he officially started his shift. With the increase in the number of vessels docking at the station and the influx of passengers due to the while Romulan debacle, it was keeping him and the other officers in station operations running around like mad. Muttering to himself as he flicked through reports on the vessels and number of people being offloaded he couldn’t help but think what this would have been like if he was still on board a ship instead of a station. He would likely be out somewhere in Romulan territory right now. He was just about to get up and get a coffee when the senior deck officer, a Lieutenant Commander he had not met yet came out of the office seeing him there. “Lieutenant; Perfect just who I needed. Join me will you?” Cynndle nods with a quick “sir”.

Walking into the small office Cynndle stands at ease, “We have a rapidly developing situation onboard the  USS Lorenza. I don’t have much information but what I was told is that there is an outbreak of a disease on board. They are less than an hour out and need aid. I want you to lead things on this side from an operations standpoint but follow the lead of the medical staff. This has come down front the Chief. Get to Central Hospital 1 docking bay and speak to Dr. Longfellow. Oh and keep us updated.”

With a nod Cynndle turns to leave, troubled thoughts racing through his head, ‘an outbreak…shit…ok need to get a full report of the situation, should they dock or keep them isolated…need to speak to medical…’.

Muttering to himself he looks around and sees the transport pad. “Speed is of the essence…” he says as he steps onto the pad. “Computer Docking bay at Central Hospital 1; energise.”

Central Hospital 1 – Docking Bay – Ward 1 – 0715

Reappearing in the docking bay Cynndle sees medical staff moving medical equipment into the area. Recognizing Dr. Longfellow he approaches. “Hey Doc, what is the situation? I was told to report her by the Chief of Operations, I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes if things are already being done.”

Longfellow glanced up and found the operations officer the source of the voice, “Welcome to ground zero, Lieutenant Oin’sun.”  He handed him a PADD with the report so far, “We have the New Orleans class USS Lorenza inbound with an infection of The Teplan Blight genetically modified to impact Romulans, Vulcans, and…humans.  It’s all there in the report.  We’re going to need operations to manage the power supply, connections, and everything that comes with running a lab and more – you’ll be working with engineering as they…,” he glanced as a figure stepped into the area with a toolbox.  He called the officer over.

Settling her toolkit strap better on her shoulder & tucking the PADD under her arm, she smiled at the doctor.  “Lieutenant Nevanthi Cordon, sir. What can I do for you?”

“Good to meet you, Lieutenant Cordon.  You’re our engineer.  You’re going to need to work with Lieutenant Oin’sun here from operations to construct a positive pressure adaptation to the default docking space there,” he gestured to the normal-looking docking bay in ward 1.  “We’re also going to need to hook all of this equipment into the power grid.”  He glanced at his PADD and nodded to the operations officer, “Another thing – we’re going to need biohazard suits – as many as we can find or replicate with enough battery power on chargers standing by – there’s a lot of people on that ship that are going to need a lot of help…and we have to keep them and the infection there and not here.”

Neva nods to them both, gears turning in her head on logistics & equipment needed. She sized up the docking bay & turned to Oin’sun with a grin. “This doesn’t look too hard to me. I don’t think it’ll take much to refit this. A cargo bay is close & has a lot of what’s needed. I’ll get a couple of other engineers with me & we’ll get on it.”

“Nice to meet your Lieutenant Cordon, that sounds good to me. From what I recall on the specs the designers of this docking bay and airlock had this sort of thing in mind. I will contact Ops to ensure that the power conduits to the bay are primed for the extra power drain and to start getting an inventory of all biohazard suits on the station before we start replicating more. Give me 5 minutes to get that started then we can head to the cargo bay and get this started.” Cynndle says.

“Doctor Longfellow,” came Heriah’s voice. She stepped up to the conversing group, regarding Cynndle and Nevanthi with nods respectively. “The computer said I would find you here. This will take one second,” she held up an apologetic hand hoping that would excuse any intrusion she had committed. “The refugee influx has calmed for the time being. But I am told a few transports are some days out and they have injured. Number unknown. What medics they have are doing their best but the transports’ supplies are running thin.”

Neva’s eyes widened at the sight of the Counselor. Her drinking companion…in a Medical capacity no less. Hmmm…

Longfellow turned at the voice of his most recent patient and gave her a quiet nod, “We can slot them for arrival in Ward 2.  Your best bet is to arrange the arrivals with our dispatch team – we’ve got ourselves a bit of a situation here in Ward 1 that’s going to take my attention.”  Before he was able to finish the conversation with the counselor, the engineering officer spoke up.

Neva turned her attention back to the conversation at hand. “It would be possible to use transporters to isolate the” gulp “infected…” Neva took a steadying breath as a few tears slid down her cheeks. ”into the other Sickbays & converted cargo bays. I know Engineering can do the conversions & upgrades fairly quickly.”

Heriah remained silent but was looking back and forth between the speakers with just her eyes.

‘Infected? Situation? Transport?’

Henry stared at the engineering officer for a moment, “No, do not do that, Lieutenant.  Under no circumstances are any patients from the USS Lorenza to be brought onboard the station.”  He handed Neva a PADD with the details of the last report his wife had sent him, “The Teplan Blight at its base was incredibly transmissible and dangerous.  We still don’t have a full workup on the modified version that’s contaminated most of that ship.”  He paused, pinching his nose and letting out a sigh, “I’m sorry, Lieutenant…your idea was sound and your suggestions were welcomed.”  He gave the engineer a nod, “Please accept my apologies.”

Neva’s own eyes widened at the doctor’s admonition. “Oh wow! It’s gotten THAT bad? I apologize for my OWN flippancy, Doctor.” Neva frowned a little, but her ready smile returned. “Ok…with that new information, the refits needed will STILL be fairly easy. The only glitch is some of the parts are cumbersome, making the refit a little slower.  I’ll talk to my Commander & get more people to do this in each of the docking bays.” Her fingers fluttered over the PADD. Looking back up she asked, “Do you need us to wear biohazard suits or space suits just in case, Doctor, or is that going too far?”

The doctor contemplated, “The only time you would need to wear a biohazard suit is if you go over to the Lorenza or whatever ship is here.  Until they arrive, our precautions are minimal when it comes to getting the dock ready for them.  I appreciate the question.  I leave you to your task.”

She saw Oin’sun was available and excused herself to continue her mission. With a smile, she matched her stride to his & was off again. Never a dull moment…

“Doctor Longfellow,” Heriah raised her hand again. Understanding combat readiness, something Refkin was superiorly fond of, the memories and knowledge came flooding back. So what if this was not against a sentient enemy? This was a disease they were apparently talking about. Still, combat readiness was combat readiness. Heriah did not need to know the details, just the situation, and the situation was this; “…the transports coming this way, all of them have refugees coming from who knows where. Might I suggest…as counselor…and in order to keep this from turning into a maniacal rampage…we send these transport vessels a scanning matrix. It will let us know the level of injuries the medical staff should prepare for prior to their arrival. This matrix will also scan for…this blight…you mentioned. If anyone aboard these transports have it…”

Henry considered Heriah’s idea and smiled quietly, “That is one helluva idea, ensign.  Consider yourself assigned to Ward 1 with me and the rag tag group we’ve got working.”  He handed her a PADD, “The details on The Teplan Blight and its modified version are included.  I would also include any other generic infections such as respiratory infections and the like.  We can get an inoculation team or antibiotic treatment assembly line ready for their arrival.  I’ll leave the application of that to you, Heriah.”  The counselor nodded and drifted off to start the process, leaving Longfellow to take a moment to breath.  His wife, and her crew were in serious danger.  They were the only hope.

He hoped they were enough.

Comments

  • I found myself absolutely captivated by the story, particularly due to the link with Henry's wife being aboard the infected starship. A massive, scary infection is dramatic, but that link is what pulled the tension out of it. That's the benefit of seeing their relationship in previous posts, too - I get the sense that I know these characters, so when they're at risk like this, it's something I, as reader, really care about. Nice mix of treknobabble and real science in here, it had that great Star Trek feeling about it for sure. And I liked how the three officers connected and the lines of tension that echoed out from their interaction: solid try/fail&try/succeed sequence going on here, and it all builds the expectation of what will come further on in the plot. Want more. :D

    June 7, 2022
  • Ok, first off let me start with I’m loving this story so far.. I know it’s just the start of this particular storyline but I want to read more.. The use of the different characters and the JP aspect of the story is working so far.. The flow between the characters and their view points is practically seamless and you guys all write in almost the same style so it makes it seem like one person is actually writing the story versus a group of people.. the connections between the characters are awesome you guys brought the together in such a way that it shows what being a part of a team and a part of Star Fleet is all about. My one worry with the story is, IMO, your riding on the line of making this a station issue versus just an issue that a few folks can realistically handle, granted something like this might be a cool idea for everyone on SBB to jump in on.. I got one would love to join this story line, so if you needs another ops character with some linguistic skills give me yell. Again awesome story and I can’t wait for the next part

    June 10, 2022