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Part of USS Mercy: Mission 1 – “Life as a House”

When Answers Lead to More Questions

Med Lab 1, USS Mercy
August 11, 2400 17:00
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Aimee stood at the main console in Med Lab One.  Connecting with the transporter system, she beamed the body of the USS Colorado‘s captain onto the examination table.  “Computer scan subject for all known toxins and pathogens.”

The computer beeped in response, “Working…  No toxins or pathogens detected.”

Aimee stared at the lifeless form of a Starfleet officer before sighing and pulled on her respirator, and walked through the force field that separated the corpse from the rest of the ship.  “Computer start medical examiner’s log,” Aimee announced as she walked around the body.  She had used the transporter to separate him from his uniform, and she took in the overall appearance.  “Subject, Morris, Anthony James is a 45-year-old human male.  He is 1.8 meters long and weighs 83 kilograms.  Body appears to be in early stages of decomposition despite having died roughly 200 years ago.  This is likely due to the sub-zero aerobic environment that the body was found in. Body was found frozen solid and cellular damage is consistent with that fact.”

Now done with the walk around, she started making more specific examinations. While holding Morris’ hand in her left, she scanned it with her tricorder, “There are antemortem and perimortem abrasions, and bruising consistent with the use of restraints.   Fingertips on both hands demonstrate antemortem and perimortem electrical burns. Many of the injuries demonstrate healing and indicate the subject received them over the course of a week prior to death.” She moved down the legs and continued her log, “Lower extremities show the same injury pattern as the upper. There are two circular burn wounds approximately 50 millimeters in diameter to the left and right temples.  Location, size, and shape are consistent with neural probes used for monitoring neural activity. Burns to the temples are consistent with electrical contact.”

Picking up a hypospray, Aimee located a location of pooled blood and drew out a vial’s worth of what was now inky black.  Stepping out of the quarantine field with a buzz, she handed the hypospray to Nurse Hamilton, “I’ll require a full analysis of the blood, please.”

“Of course, Doctor,” Nurse Hamilton replied.

Aimee returned to the exam bay with a buzz of forcefield.  With a laser scalpel, she made the Y-incision and opened up the chest cavity. Removing the heart, she gave it a visual examination, “Cardiac muscle appears to have been healthy.” She placed it on a scale, “Hearth weighs 284 grams.” Transferring it to a diagnostic scanner, the advanced sensors scanned the organ down to the atomic level. Reading the data, she continued the autopsy report, “Damage to heart is consistent with cardiac arrest brought on by electrical shock.”

Captain Halsey had stood outside the med bay doors, a PADD in hand.  The things that were starting to come back from the crew based on what they had found and experienced from the Colorado were troubling and revealing.  He stepped through the door and found his way to where his Chief Medical Officer was working on the autopsy on the captain of the ghost ship.  He gave a slight nod to the nurse and shifted into the eyesight of the lieutenant.

“Captain,” she greeted.  Adjusting her scanning equipment Aimee spoke, “Computer run a full neurological scan.”

The computer beeped in response, “Processing.”

He tapped the console, “I’m relieved you’re back with us, Doctor.  Given the pieces I’m getting as reports are drafted, we’re not dealing with something…normal.”  He nodded to the body, “Anything of note so far?”

“Death is normal, Captain,” Aimee replied, “but I admit the circumstances are odd.”

The CO allowed a thin smile.  Doctors had unique views on life and death, while the reality of it remained the same – death was a normal process in the master program of life.  “Odd seems to be our business this mission.”

“Neurological scan complete.” The computer announced.

Aimee went to the computer console and brought the scans of the brain onto the main computer, “Now, that isn’t normal.  I believe you are a doctor.  I have never seen this amount of damage to the brain before.”

Aimee moved closer to the wall monitor. “What did they do to you?” She said aloud.  ”It’s like they tried hooking him up to a computer.   By the looks of things, his brain was completely scrambled.  He may have died of a heart attack,  but he was brain dead long before that.”

Halsey pulled up the scans on his console and felt his hair stand up on end a little.  “Whoever did this kept him alive trying to craft some kind of…,” he tapped at the console, trying to understand what he was seeing.  “This reminds me of early experiments in neuromechanical engineering.”  He tapped at the screen, “There are points in the surface of the brain where you can see whoever was doing this attempted to craft a connection point or something..good God, they had some cowboys in here.”

Aimee took a laser scalpel and opened up the top of his head to reveal the brain.   “I have never seen brain tissue look like this.”

Halsey contemplated as he looked at the data the computer was feeding him, “I think we’re going to need to do a deep scan of his head – brain and all…you can see there are attempts on the surface scans…but it lacks the care and thought you’d see in experiments like this…it begs the question – was this an experiment at all?  Or was this just…someone taking the idea and thinking they could just…do it?”

Aimee frowned,  “That’s a disturbing thought.” She carefully removed the brain and gave it a visual examination.   “Weight and size appears normal.”

Just then, Nurse Hamilton walked in PADD in hand, “I got the tox screen resul…” She never finished the sentence as she slapped the PADD into Halsey’s chest and ran out of the room, green to the gills.

Aimee gave the departing nurse an amused expression,  “She must have missed cadaver day at the Academy.  What does the tox screen show?”

The former Chief Medical Officer frowned at the report, “Well, weird is becoming our thing.  LSD , Scolpolamine, and zolpidam.  What a cocktail.”

“So a hallucinogen and something to make him open to suggestion.  You could have probably made him think he was a duck and got him to walk around the ship quacking.”

Halsey shook his head as he finished with, “…and zolpidam is a sedative.  What in the hell happened over there?”  He stared at the body through the glass and then back to the PADD, “If we weren’t going to be careful before taking our next step…this information gives me serious qualms about what happens next.  You think we need some backup going into whatever is next?”

Aimee sighed,  “Without knowing exactly what we’re dealing with… I haven’t a clue.  For all we know, this is the origins of the Borg. All I can say for sure was someone or something sedated him, got him higher than a kite, and scrambled his brains trying to hook him up to a computer.”

Halsey held his frown as he looked from PADD to the body and back again, “Secure the body for now.  Forward your report to Lieutenant Walker.  I think we’re going to need him…or his brain for whatever comes next.  Thank you, Doctor MacDonald, for your work on this.”  He gave her a nod and headed back to the bridge.