Obsidian Command

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Posted on 10 Nov 2023 @ 8:35am by Chief Petty Officer Ibis Xeri & Lieutenant JG Hannah Wagner
Edited on on 06 Feb 2024 @ 10:09pm

Mission: M4 - Falling Out
Location: Obsidian Command, medical bay
Timeline: M4 D3 Late Morning
2115 words - 4.2 OF Standard Post Measure

With the Admiral inquiring as to her health and now the additional concern of her mother, Ibis decided to leave Wallace with the kids and just go to sickbay as a walk in.

The station sickbay was bright, and sleek with holographic technology on nearly every possible active surface. Her head turned this way and that as she watched uniform medical staff coming and going. She wasn't used to the sheer diversity in uniforms now. They'd always had variants for technicians and labs and between officers and non coms like herself, and then the dress variants, and different cuts for various species body types... But it seemed in the last ten years that the number of variations had branched into a family tree. She imagined it was more so on a station like this one.

The staff here were as multitudinous as a proper hospital and their various smocks and jumpsuits and coats likely denoted a variety of specialties and workplace conditions. Comfortingly, most of them still featured the familiar teal she'd grown to think of as her own favorite color in the sciences. She'd always spent a fair amount of time working with medical, in her own interest area of life sciences, and was often supplementary tasked in medical labs early in her career.

Ibis found her way to a check in desk and spoke to a nurse to ask for a doctor visit. When asked what doctor she wanted to see, Ibis hesitated. The first one that came to mind was the Doctor who had managed the Pathfinder's sickbay.

"Is Doctor Wagner serving on the station? Or is she assigned elsewhere?"

"No, she's here," he said, looking over an attendant schedule and entering a walk in arrival check in.

"Oh, good. She's probably already familiar with my medical file." Ibis had mostly been attended to by the nursing staff on the Pathfinder, as she had no emergent situations and there were other surgical patients to tend and follow up with. But with things settled down, it was a good a time as any to get some more detailed scans out of the way. "Is she available? Or should I make an appointment?"

"Just pass your comm over the scanner and I can complete your check in."

Ibis took the combadge she had pinned on and rubbed the smooth, cool metal in her fingers before passing it over the scanner on the counter.

"She'll be available shortly. Let's get you set up in a private exam room, Chief Xeri."

He slotted a thin, clear glass padd into a side counter and it blanked then he took it out again and waved the holographic display to transfer to the glass board. It animated with her medical history file.

The nurse walked her passed primary sickbay with it's walk in injured of bumps and scrapes and general malaise of headaches to bee seen and down a curving hall to a room with walls that were opaque from the hallway, but frosted and translucent from inside. He left the door opened. She intuited that the medical table was still meant to be hopped up on and the nurse took her vitals with a small scanner. Ibis bit her lip as she observed him doing so, to keep himself from commenting on her underweight and malnourished condition.

"Doctor Wagner will just be a few minutes," he told her with a reassuring smile. Ibis had to wonder what he was really thinking as he left her there to wait.

She kicked her short legs and stared at the the badge still in her fingers, lost in distant thought. It could have been minutes or hours in the near silence. When Doctor Wagner came in Ibis startled out of her blank reverie, cleared her throat, and sat up straighter. "Hello, doctor."

The blonde woman smiled, practically automatically at the startled reaction to her entrance into the room. She'd thought that the other woman had been lost in thought, but not so lost as to not hear her footfalls. "Good morning Chief Xeri."

"It is, yes," Ibis said. She thought about leaving her quarters, seeing Wallace feeding the kids. She'd tarried at the door to watch them around a table. Wallace tried out a joke on Oliva, a pun. What was the joke? She'd forgotten already. But Olivia had groaned and Wallace had grinned and taken his win. And as he leaned back with his hands behind his head, he'd given Ibis a wink. He had the fort, she was good to go. It wasn't telepathy, but was it near enough? "A very good morning, yes," she said.

"I confess that I'm a bit surprised to see you, as you've been cleared by sickbay on our journey back to the station. Is there something specific bothering you?" Her blue eyes flickered over the standard bio-sign readouts which were within a close enough range of normal that she'd not even payed direct attention to them.

"I know I didn't bring it up on the Pathfinder. It isn't the fault of any of your nursing staff. I just didn't think it important at the time," she rambled. "And um, now that we're safely aboard the station, and things are settling somewhat, I've had some strong encouragement to... to look into something in particular."

Hannah settled into the seat beside the bed, and gestured for her to continue at her own pace. She knew from experience that rushing such conversations never went well, nor did they get the information told in the entirety she would need to fix what she suspected was a sensitive problem.

Ibis folded her hands in her lap and stared at them, thinking back as she started to recount to get to the trouble itself. "About nine years ago, when the initial survivors of the crew of the USS Sunrise were interred on the island, at the time I was telepathic. A few months into our time on Korix however, I came down with some sort of flu. It lasted a couple of weeks. High fever, muscle pains, a cough. But I came out of it. Only when I did, I was telepathically blind. I couldn't sense anyone or transfer a thought."

"I've heard of viruses doing this to Betazoid children, never permanently though. Its interesting and distressing that this happened to you in such a way. Please continue." She was jotting down notes on a PADD.

"That's what we thought— that it could be temporary. At least, our doctor, Laura Winetrout, suggested it, and I had hoped it would recover. So much of our survival in the beginning relied on my capability to communicate over distances, to organize ourselves, and to help to translate with the native Korinn, you know, correlating words and meaning. I was doing everything I could, especially with my telepathy, to help everyone to be calm and to stay positive. And as we had no technology and it was unwise to build any beacons or transmitters... Well, I was the look out, for trouble incoming, or for the possibility of rescue— you know, looking out for the sense of anyone in orbit there to help us. When I lost my telepathy, I couldn't maintain any of that any more."

Hannah nodded slowly. So, the girl was using her telepathic abilities to extremes that would stress a person in a healthy environment to breakdown, by herself, with everyone in the colony relying solely on her. While they were living in hell, and then had been seriously ill. Was this simple stress or something more sinister? She'd have to do deep scans and track all the telepathic biomarkers.

Ibis looked down, her shoulders dropping with helplessness. "As much as we hoped for it, my telepathy never recovered, not even partially. I'm as telepathically blind today as the day I came down with that fever. I guess I've adjusted to living without it, more or less."

"More or less, perhaps less as you're here." She chuckled softly and tapped her fingers on the edge of the bed, deep in thought. "May I assume that you wish me to look into the possibility of restoring your telepathy?"

"I'd like to know if you think it's possible. I mean, I even just would be content first knowing what went wrong."

"There are a number of possibilities that could factor in, and I will have to rule out each one individually. It's likely not going to be a simple fix."

"I understand. Where would you start?"

"Blood analysis for neurotransmitter levels and a very very detailed scan of your brain." She tapped her lips with the stylus she was using to take notes on the PADD. "There are many things about the betazoid telepathic system that are dependent on balance. Living how you did for so long, its no wonder you threw that system out of balance."

Once again, Ibis fidgeted, her fingers turning the comm badge in her hand, faster and faster, as she was experiencing the same shame she had over the condition of the children. On the one hand, she knew that she'd had very little control over the situation and felt a pass was well enough deserved. And yet she still felt somehow at fault for her own condition. What was left of her, and of Wallace and the kids, was all that remained of everyone aboard the Sunrise. One moment she was looking at the face of the kind blonde doctor telling her they needed some blood tests and scans, nodding, and then her eyes were out of focus, her thoughts standing her on a sand dune, dotted with large sun bleached seashells. "...out of balance," she repeated, almost distantly.

"Practically no one's in balance. I know I'm not, but for myself it doesn't affect me the same way that it would you. But that doesn't matter entirely, we'll get to the bottom of it one way or the other." The Doctor twiddled one curl absently as she thought about how she was going to set up this brain scan. She was going to need a projective telepath for at least part of it.

"Oh, um. I'm free for any of those tests now, or, if you need another appointment. I don't know how it works here." Every sickbay seemed to have their own procedures for labs, if she remembered. But she wasn't entirely sure she remembered. "I used to run med labs in my life sciences days." She said, almost conversationally now. She smiled sheepishly, uncertain she should act like she knew anything herself of procedure when she hadn't worked in a proper Starfleet lab in almost a decade. "But that was on a small ship, and we didn't have a lot of medical or life science members. You have a big operation here."

"Big does not even begin to cover it. It's..." She trailed off not really sure how she wanted to continue, and smiled at her patient. A flapping her hand a little bit by way of apology she continued, "Let's get the easy part of the testing underway, the blood samples for various neurotransmitter levels. I will want to set up a specific kind of brain scan, but that takes a little bit of time to set up. There are other personnel I need besides myself, to conduct it properly. So I'd like to plan for that for tomorrow. I will want to repeat it at several different mental states, including fully rested and tired."

"Easy part first," Ibis agreed.

She was already feeling better about Wagner's approach to the problem, as the doctor was making it a point to collect data and consult with others, rather than jump to any early conclusions or easy explanations.

Ibis seemed to relax on an exhale. She watched the doctor move to gather the tools for collecting samples and recognized everything that Dr. Wagner lined up on a tray. She sat patiently as readings were taken and blood samples collected with hyposyringe, which worked as painlessly as a dispensing hypo.

As all the initial samples and scans were taken, she thanked Dr. Wagner and stood to leave. "I'll be back for the intensive scan when you're ready for me," she promised. "Thank you." It seemed such an underwhelming thing to say in the face of such expansive and comprehensive care when they'd had little more than knives and herbs and moonshine to rely on for so long. "Really, I appreciate it."

Hannah's smile bloomed on her face as she looked up from the PADD. "My pleasure I promise you. I'll be in touch in the next couple of days."


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