Sadie was startled awake, sitting straight up in her bed as she found her breaths coming heavy and hard, the sweat beading off her body as she slowly became aware enough of her surroundings. She was in her quarters. It was the seventh day of working with the samples they had pulled from the weapon. In six days, they had come perilously close to a cure. The Okada and Moore remained in stasis as they had worked, and the Mackenzie had remained close to the outpost, never traveling very far. Harris had been unable to locate a replacement for Okada or someone from command to step aboard to assist him while he worked with engineering.
Fowler slid out of her bed and stumbled to the shower. She had asked and received permission to install a water shower in her quarters. There was something about the hot water that helped calm her nerves from the wild earthquake they had been. She found listening to old earth classical music helped as she stood under the steaming water - her mind was able to gather traction in the flooded basin it had been desperately floating in since this adventure had begun. It was here she did her best unorthodox thinking as if she was unlocking the secrets that were hiding in the dark corners of her mind.
Breakfast was scrambled eggs, bacon, and rye toast with a massive cup of coffee. She'd fallen into the coffee habit and was finding peace in the contemplation as she drank from the mug. Her nerves had nearly broken at the end of each day, and somehow the coffee, the hot water, and the breakfast managed to heal her frayed psyche. She wondered if Juliet would have ideas on the cause and correlation. That thought stayed with her as she slipped on her uniform and headed out the door.
“We've tried to reverse engineer it. We've tried to test it. We've tried to isolate it. We've tried to copy it. We've done everything I know how to do…and still, we've got nothing.” Doctor Reid sat in the lab as the chrono on the wall clicked over to 0530 hours. Fowler had walked in, and they'd gone to work to review the overnight crew's work and were unsurprised to find that very little ground had been gained. Fowler had gone through the list of tests they were circling back to on third tries, and Reid had groaned and listed the things they had already done. She continued, “I've asked Cardamon to reach out to anyone he knows who might have a clue….but he's not sure anyone's going to talk to him. His attacker was released two days ago and exiled from the outpost. Word's probably gotten out.”
Sadie leaned against the counter, “I don't think anyone's going to talk to us, never mind Cardamon.” She turned to the console and started searching, “We've tried all the modern remedies, right?” Reid nodded and moved to look over her shoulder, “There are a lot of old Earth medications and treatments. Much of ours is based on it because that's how science works - we adapt, improve, and elevate our technology to meet the latest threats. What if…something from then in its base form is what we need?”
Jordan was intrigued as she read through the history Fowler was looking at, “You're going way back, Lieutenant. The methods and treatments from that time are ancient histories today.” She considered, “Yet…the entirety of what our enemy knows about us is from recent history. We have to think about the context - they knew Voyager and the medical abilities of the EMH and sickbay.”
Fowler nodded along with her, “So they based this bacterial infection on the modern medical and science systems - designed it to work around them and against them…so nothing we could throw at it would work, no matter how hard we worked. Which would explain why we're on the seventh day of this.” She looked at Reid, “This is a designer disease. The Delta Quadrant continues to surprise.”
Doctor Reid pointed at the PADD, “Get a list started of the antibiotics of old. We'll build a list of ten and test them. Wake up the team. This is going to take some time.”
The chrono on the wall clicked over to 1800 hours. Cups of coffee littered the lab as the collection of science and medical officers worked tirelessly in the lab. The screen displayed the various antibiotics that had been tested so far. Doxycycline, cephalexin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, metronidazole, and azithromycin. Nothing had resulted. Fowler tapped at the PADD and grumbled, “One last one. Penicillin. The original.” She tapped the medical replicator, and it quickly crafted the various versions of the antibiotic. She passed them out to the teams, “One last run.”
The teams went to work as fresh cups of coffee were delivered, and the old cups were removed. Silence ruled the room as each team tested, retested, noted, scanned, noted, rescanned, tested, and so much more. An hour passed. Another. Fowler felt her frayed nerves reaching a breaking point as the chrono clicked over to 2000.
A shout, “I've got it! I'VE GOT IT!” Fowler jumped from her station and ran across the room, and slid to a halt behind the voice, staring at the screen. The last seven days had only resulted in a flashing red result - failure after failure. The screen in front of her flashed the most beautiful color she had ever seen. A flashing green result. Success. She tapped the console to check the results. Another flash of green. They'd done it. She shouted in the affirmative, and the entire science lab broke out in cheers and applause, a cathartic release of seven full days of stress, anxiety, fear, and worry.
They had found a cure.