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Part of RRW Jarok: M1-Part I: Adrift

Gas? Don’t look at me!

Abandoned Warbird
October 2400
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Three columns of green light appeared in a dimly lit corridor. After the lights dissipated, three figures in evs suits were left behind. The automated system detected the lack of illumination and activated the torch on their shoulders to compensate for the lack thereof; the same went with two additional torches on rifles. Two of those individuals had rifles while the remainder was armed but their pistol rested in their holster. Self-defense was only natural, and a requirement.

Isha hand turned around a couple of times to illuminate several areas of the corridor with her shoulder and rifle light to ensure that they weren’t surrounded or going to be. Isha frowned. “No bodies. Quiet. Lights are flickering down on that end.” She turned once again. “And that end. Could be a malfunction in the power distribution or something else. But where is the crew?” She asked out loud. Then she lifted up her left arm to press a button on the armband terminal to activate the scanner only to frown even more. “We couldn’t transport directly to the medical bay because of some interference and yet the scanners cannot tell what kind of interference.” She turned in her ev suit to look at Vuzhan. “Have you tried contacting team Alpha?”

“Yes. Comms are completely down,” Vuzhan replied. “Shuttle’s autopilot program isn’t responding either. For now, we’re on our own.”

Walking close to Isha “Communications seem to be interfering with something, I am unable to get their attention” Hakona shrugs “Plus I am doing still readings on the area for any toxic in the air. It seems the air is clean, but some of the readings are off the chart. I need more time to calibrate this before I give the thumbs up to get those helmets off” Hakona wanted to be rather safe than just give a thumbs up, it was a rookie mistake to blindly accept the conditions. 

“What, exactly, is reading off the chart?” Vuzhan replied. “Not anything that would disable plasma weapons, is it?” He lifted his rifle up slightly to accentuate his question.

She waved off the weapon, “Don’t worry you can keep your toy with you, these readings are specific in the field of oxygen but for some reason mixed with other readings. I will know more after a while of analyzing the various chambers. Let’s move forward to the sickbay, I feel more at home there” Hakona shrugged and moved on “Come on, you are here to protect me right?”

“Mmmm-hmm,” Vuzhan replied, waving the others in the direction of sickbay. “C’mon, Doc. Maybe there’ll be some answers there. I don’t like biochemical unknowns on a mission.”

When Vuzhan mentioned the link to the runabout’s autopilot system was severed, she had slung her rifle and began to work on trying to re-establish the link with the runabout by tapping away at her armband. After a few minutes of failure, she cursed under her breath and lowered her arm. “Strange how this interference is affecting communications but not weapons. Even more strange that we have not come across a single body.”

As soon as they got to sickbay, the door was closed and it looked as though it had been through hell. Dents all around, burn marks likely from disruptor fire. Isha ran a quick scan and sighed. “Even if there was enough power to open the door, the hydraulics have seized.” She did her best to grab the lip in the center of the door. “Come on, help me open this.” Vuzhan and Hakona gripped the door alongside her and heaved.

Once they get the door open, a body that was leaning against it fell into the corridor, which nearly made Isha jump. She then took one look inside and gasped, her heart now pounding rapidly in her chest. There were bodies littered all over sickbay, more grouped in piles as if they were after something in the middle of each pile. She cursed loudly in Romulan. “What happened to the crew?”

“Shit,” Vuzhan said, visually scanning the corpses as he strode into the medbay. He poked at one with the tip of his rifle.

“No weapon burns on any of these guys,” he said. “No stab wounds or anything like that either. Wanna scan ‘em, doc? Make sure they’re not contagious or something?” 

Hakona had checked the bodies and turned a head to its side “Mmm” She narrows her eyes “Curious, this one has some kind of skin rash, markings of scratches indicate it was quite the itching feeling” Letting her finger slide over the Romulans chest as Hakona stops “What is this” She looked closer annoyed with the helmet “Indication of pressure on the heart area…” She grabs the tricoder and started scanning as her pupils got wide, “What the….” Looking at the others “There is residue of a heart….”

While the doctor was scanning that body, Isha knelt down to a different body and ran her own scan. Her confusion grew as well did her frown. She turned in her suit to look at Hakona. “This one had a brain hemorrhage. I am not a medical expert but two separate causes of death? I mean,” Isha looked back at the body before her. “There are rash and scratch marks all over the face on this one too but no skull fractures to indicate blunt force trauma.” Isha stood up and looked around at all the bodies. “We need answers.”

Isha headed straight for the chief medical officer’s office and knelt down before the desk where she yanked a panel off and dropped it onto the floor. She began to access what power there is, likely from the batteries or auxiliary that has the bare minimum of power left, and managed to route what power was needed to reactivate the console. “Doc!”

Looking up from the body Hakona got onto her feet and walked into the direction of Isha “Well talk to me, what did you find?”

Isha looked up from the console at the doctor when she came closer. “The first thing on the screen is the chief medical officer’s logs, their last one and it does not bode well.” Isha took a step to the side to let Hakona in to take a look herself.

The last log would state that the crew has gone completely insane and started to attack those who were not affected by the gas or were affected much slower than others. Then the rest becomes gibberish, mentioned things like home, trees, flowers, only to switch to being aggressive, asserted blame to the commanding officer for taking away their fork at dinner. Then the rest is complete nonsense. “With their logs open, maybe we can go back to when the crew started having symptoms? Find out what did all of this?”

Vuzhan, meanwhile, was continuing to poke around at the corpses, trying to find any clues amongst the piles of dead.

Staying quiet as she crossed her arms, reading the logs of the former Chief Medical Officer. Hakona narrows her eyes and looked carefully at her side to the bodies, “So my presumption was spot on, we are dealing with a gas that still might be here. The symptoms are clear as daylight by the hints of both bodies and those logs” She shrugs “Skin rash, losing their minds end something severely affecting the heart” Looking back at Isha “Lieutenant check the files on any data with regard to that gas” Looking at Vuzhan “We are on a time rush, we are unable to verify the gas but also cut off from any communication to the other teams. We have to find them….” Hakona taps the side of her arm “Thought I wouldn’t mind seeing the gas in action” She mutters to herself letting a small grin appear on her face.

“Then we need to make way to the bridge ASAP,” Vuzhan noted, striding over to his compatriots and ignoring the odd implications of Hakona’s little musing. “The Commander and XO might be in danger of exposure.”

Isha found all the research data that the chief medical officer had gathered and the details of a cure that they were working on but did not finish. She then found an earlier log, an audio one and played it.

“Chief Medical Officer’s log. An hour ago, the Commander has graciously informed me that the battle with the traitorous Free State warbird has come to an end with our victory. But when our shields were down, they had transported a small team with a canister and hooked it up to the ship’s life support system and reported that some sort of gas was being vented throughout the ship. So far, there has been very few incidents, crew coming in with rashes and pink polkadots all over their skin. Some even began to speak in a high pitched voice that has become rather humorous. I am now having a patient who has advanced to the next stage, where they have become extremely irrational and expressed severe aggression to themself and to others. They are currently strapped to a bed and are being monitored but it is getting worse. I fear that I too am infected but at a slower rate than others, which should give me an advantage to find a cure but I am uncertain as to how soon. This contagion is extremely different and difficult. Whoever engineered it knew what they were doing. I-” There was a loud crash, like a cart or tray being tossed to the floor and then the log terminated.

Isha looked to Parau. “Can you finish where he started, Doctor?” Then looked to Vuzhan. “Long as they haven’t taken their helmets off, they should be fine, right? But we better go check, and quickly.”

Vuzhan nodded with a slight grunt.

Listening to the audio log made her narrow her eyes as she looked again toward the bodies on the ground. Would the Free States go that far to poison their fellow people? Thought something did seem off as Hakona looked slowly around to all the bodies, “There are no Remans….” She mutters as her though get interrupted by a ping looking back at the PADD that just downloaded the information of the late Chief Medical Officer “Let’s go, Vuzhan lead the way to the location of our beloved new Commander”

“There might not be any Remans because a lot of Commanders request Romulan-only crews,” Vuzhan said as he led the team out of the medbay and into the halls. “Lotta your kind didn’t think very highly of us to begin with, and that whole business with Shinzon just made it worse.”

Isha patted Vuzhan’s shoulder. “Come on. We can discuss about the Imperial segregating the Remans later. Let’s find the Commander and Subcommander!” Isha looked at the doctor. “I suggest you stay here, Doc, and see if you can finish that cure. If that is a weapon from our enemy, we need to be prepared to defend against it in case others are attacked by this.” Isha merely suggested before she led the way out of the medical bay to look for Saren and Orex.