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2nd Opinions...

Posted on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 4:40am by

Mission: Echoes of the Damned: Pilot Episode.
Location: Sickbay

Leanne had been staring at her computer monitor for 16 hours straight, several cups of coffee laid strewn about her desk as well as an empty bowl of Borsch. Sickbay was quiet now, most of the crew that had been in there was either sleeping or discharged back to active duty. She stood up and walked back over to the replicator. The protein synthesis analysis that she was running still had a few more minutes left on it. "Computer, Coffee, Black and double shot of espresso." The cup materialized in the replicator and she carefully pulled it out. Lifting the cup to her lips, she tasted the hot liquid and carefully poured it down her throat. The coffee gave her the short burst of energy that she was desperately craving. She walked back into her office and started to look over the results.

"What the hell is going on with this.." She frowned as the DNA chains scrolled across the screen. The DNA from the more primal infected had changed almost 80 to 90% of original where as Bev's was currently holding at 47%. Leanne leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes trying to think of what could be done to halt the infection. Anything that would resequence their DNA and the other crewmembers would theoretically destroy the people that they knew and loved. Borg Nano Probes would probably do more damage then good and there had been too much damage done already for standard drugs. She opened her eyes and decided to call in some help. She pushed the com button on her computer.

"Computer, open a channel to Dr. Scarlet Menze, Mars Research Station." the computer went about its task for a few moments until a Red Headed woman with glasses, white lab coat, and Admiral Pips appeared on the screen.

"Leanne! Darling! It is good to see you!" Her smile turned to concern, "You look like hell... what have they been doing to you out there.. god help your Captain if she lets anything happen to you."

Leanne smiled at Scarlet. "I'm ok, really, I promise, Ma. They are taking good care of me." the smile left her face as she started to recount what had happened. "We had a really rough away mission, we are limping back to a starbase right now. That is actually kind of what I am contacting you about. We ran into an ancient race that infected some of our crew with a mutagenic virus, it has rewritten the DNA of the people that have been infected and a hybrid strain has started to attack Commander Devours system. I've slowed down the infection but I don't know how long I'm going to have. I'm sending you over everything that I have so far."

Scarlet leaned back in her chair as the information came across the comm link. Menze frowned a little bit as she scrolled through the information. "And you've tried Bio-agnets to halt the progression correct?"

"Yes, on Bev. The others I had to administer an aresol agent which had no effect." Leanne took a sip of her coffee and got a little closer to the computer monitor.

"This is one of the most interesting things I've seen in a long time. It is only affecting roughly every other base pair and realigning them... look at pair sequence 59"


"That is your patients normal DNA sequence, and look! There is an extra pair!!"


Scarlet was obviously getting more thrill out of this then she should. "I noticed that Scarlet, but, how do we fix it?" Leanne sat back in her chair and finished her coffee.

"Hmm... I have a few ideas... but do you mind if I bring in someone else to look at this?" Scarlet got a smile on her face which turned into a scowl. "I don't really want to talk to him but.. he has experience in the field."

"Who do you have in mind?" Scarlet could pull from all the greatest minds of Starfleet Medical. Leanne could only imagine who she was going to contact.

"My dead beat Ex Husband. Dr. Wilhelm Menze, he's serving aboard the USS. Essex right now. He could have been one of the greatest diagnostic doctors in the entire federation, but he had to ignore everything I said... everything I tried to set up for him." Scarlet was getting angry thinking about him. "ooooh.. he makes me so mad!" Scarlet punched in a few buttons on her keyboard.

Her screen split in two, Scarlet Menze was on the left side, and the new doctor whom she assumed was her ex husband Wilhelm Menze was on the right. Like Scarlet he wore glasses, but his hair was long and white, and it looked like he hadn't shaved in a few days.

"What do you want harpy? I've got important things to do like... I don't know clean plasma conduits, or run medical tests on myself, or" Wilhelm Menze looked rather annoyed that his ex wife was on his screen. "Ohhh I see you have an underling.. Lieutenant, take my advice, avoid this woman at all costs, she's going to corrupt you."

"WIL THAT IS ENOUGH!" Scarlet looked as mad as ever. "Don't make me have to pull rank on you, Lieutenant Menze" Scarlet was seething.

"Yes Admiral, anything for you, I am your humble servant." Wil was obviously getting a kick out of this. "And who is this lovely woman gracing my screen, and I don't mean the one with the Admiral Pips."

"I'm doctor Leanne Ulonova, chief medical officer of the Genesis. I was hoping that you could take a look at some DNA sequence pairs for us. I've poured over this for several hours and wanted to get a consultation. I have a few ideas but.."

Menze started to look over the information that Scarlet was sending him and his eyes squinted as he looked over the information that ws being sent. "Mutagenic.... This is actually fascinating. I'm surprised Scarlet, you usually send me stuff a first year interm could diagnose. It almost looks like Barclay's syndrome but at the same time is is both Viral AND Bacterial. Fascinating."

"Have you run into anything else like this before?" Scarlet had developed a softer tone. "I have been cross referencing it against other known pathogens here and this is something completely new."

"I have ten crew members that have been infected with strain A and my Captain has been infected with strain B. I've tried chemical and anti biological agents on them and nothing has helped, I've managed to slow it down but by my calculations if I can't stop, she has about 6 months... maybe less." Leanne took a sip of her coffee, it seemed to have a calming effect on her when she talked about this kind of stuff.

"I see two main areas of concern here." Wil stood up and walked over to the replicator in his office. "The first is containing the infection, either stopping is progression or out right killing it. That is going to need to be priority one." Menze walked back to the desk and sat down. "Anything that you do without stopping that is going to be moot. The second is reverting the patients DNA back to normal."

Leanne looked at the Scarlet and Wil. They had more years of combined medical experience then she was alive. She was formulating an idea and she was hoping that she wouldn't come off sounding like a fool. "What if, for the first round of treatment to supress the infection, I programmed nanoprobes to deliver a low dose of analeptic radiation individually to the virus. Hopefully with a very localized and precise application of the radiation there shouldn't be too much ancillary damage to other cells and tissue."

Scarlet clasped her fingers together in her signature thinking move. "That should work. Wil, thoughts?"

"The key is going to be giving her enough radiation to stop the mutagen from adapting, assuming that it is susceptible to that form of radiation. You might have to try a few different types. The downside is that it is going to fry your patients immune system and body like an egg on a skillet." Wil had taken off his glasses and examined them. "You'll have to do it very systematically. Assuming she survives that, then we can talk about options for correcting the DNA."

Leanne frowned a little bit. She didn't like the idea of watching someone waste away. Scarlet saw that she was upset, "Leanne, you can't dwell on these kinds of things for too long, as a doctor you have to realize that there is only so much you can do. I wish I could tell you that we can save everyone but we can't. Be there for the patient as much as you can, let them know what you are doing, and that you care, and let them know that you are doing everything in your power to help them."

"Does it ever get easier?"

Wil chose this moment to chime in. "Marry someone, let them suck your soul dry and you'll soon realize that it toughens you up and gives you a hard exterior to show to your patients."

"God Wil, can't you for 5 minutes show a bit of tact?"

"I'm just letting the girl know how it is. If she is ever going to be a great doctor then she has to learn to detach from the patient. The more emotionally involved you get the worse off you are if the patient dies." Wil leaned back in his chair. "I'll keep analyzing these findings and I'll get back to you. It was nice meeting you Leanne, Scarlet... take care." Menze disappeared from the screen and Scarlet was the only one left.

"Don't listen to him dear, he is just bitter. Brilliant, but just bitter. Start with the treatment and I'll have my team look over the results. Is there anything else I can do for you right now?"

"No, not right now I'm going to take a sonic shower and get ready, I'm having dinner with someone tonight." Leanne gave a slight smile.

"He's not a doctor is he?" Scarlet smiled at her.

"No, he's the XO."

"Well... god and starfleet help him if he hurts you..."

"Don't worry I can take care of myself." Leanne smiled "Thanks for the help Scarlet."

"No problem, I'll contact you if I come up with something. Menze out" Scarlet disappeared from the screen. Leanne stood up and turned off the lights in her office and headed towards her room to check on Raymond and get ready for dinner. "I hope for Bev's sake we can come up with something."


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