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Posted on Tue Oct 20th, 2009 @ 12:48pm by Chief Warrant Officer Akina Jrez & Lieutenant Helen Lyons [PNPC] & Lieutenant JG Fiona Saunders & Civilian Haqtaj Matlh

Mission: Ties To Blood: Season 1, Episode 3.
Location: Siience Lab 2 & Astrophysics lab

Distances have an annoying fashion of increasing in proportion to the urgency of covering them. No matter how much speed he put on, and he was capable of a good deal when needed, it seemed to Jrez like he was getting nowhere.
Then, to top it all off, the yellow alert sounded.

=/= Jrez to Ops. What's going on? =/=

A garbled message came back over the commbadge which sounded like twenty people trying to answer the same question from twenty other people - all at the same time. The gist of it seemed to be that there was something wrong with Captain DeVuor; all personnel were to keep a watch for her and report any sightings immediately and; all personnel were to go armed.

Starfleet continues to throw up surprises. Now I'm to shoot my commanding officer. No-one back on Trill is going to believe this!

That slight diversion seemed to break the sense of not progressing towards the science labs. He turned a corner of the corridor, found a fortuitously empty turbolift and took it to Level 113. There he saw a sight for sore eyes.

"'day, Tim," he said as Crewman Edkins looked up.

"Afternoon Jrez," Tim looked up at the sound of approching feet and that of his name being called from the panel he had been scanning.

“We think we’ve found the problem with the computer systems – Borg nanites in the gel packs. Lieutenant Clarke from the Tomcat suggested we transfer primary systems to a redundant isolinear core. Can you see if we have one available, its capacity and the state of its health? Meanwhile, Lieutenant Ulanova is sending down specs of the nanites she whipped up to counter our Borg guests. I’m going to see if we can use them to inoculate the core so that it doesn’t get infected the moment we open it up.”

"Yeah I'll have a look, I'm sure we have some somewhere but I don't what condition they will be in." Tim replaced the panel and rose up to his full height which wasn't much and flicked his ginger hair from his eyes.

“When you’ve done that, we need to get internal sensors running as a matter of urgency. Whatever this problem is with the Captain, we need to know where she is and we need to get people there fast to restrain her.”

"Restrain her, Sir?" Tim asked with a heavy frown bending again to repack his equipment.

It was the question Jrez expected and the one he dreaded hearing.

“I know very little, Crewman Edkins,” he said in his best attempt at the stern superior officer voice. “The Captain has an...illness which is affecting her behaviour. Beyond that it is speculation and rumour and right now I’m not inclined to listen to speculation and rumour.”

He turned away from Edkins, pulled up a chair and applied himself to work, studying the specs Ulanova had sent. As he worked, the tension over what might really be going on with the captain began to ease. He wouldn’t admit it, not even to himself, but his mind was very much given over to speculation at this very moment. That was the problem with getting only part of the picture – you inevitably filled in the gaps anyway. Work slowly filled those empty spaces and forced the doom and gloom images out. As he worked, he hummed to himself – snatches of Trill songs; some recent, some whose origins were lost in the mists of time. He did so without even realising it.

It took a while to get his head around the data before him. He hadn’t personally worked with nanites for five years or more and while he’d made some attempts to keep up with developments in the field, the technology had obviously moved on since then.

Once he made sense of the developments he began to make progress. Understanding of the adaptations Ulanova had made to the Borg nanites came quickly. He set that aside, sure in his own mind that he could identify which way he needed to proceed with the nanites infecting the gel packs. He took a sample from randomly selected packs and was encouraged to find that only one sort of nanite had been used. That certainly made life a lot easier! Presumably it was purpose built and quite possibly it was designed in situ.

Now the fun began.

Tim looked over as Jrez worked happily humming to himself while the younger man had started to turn the lab upside down looking for the isolinear core Jrez had requested. He shook his head in awe. His mother was the same way, always muttering, singing or humming under her breath. It annoyed the hell out of him.
"Sir," he said at length. "Could you cut out the humming its distracting."

It took Jrez a moment to realise the comment was directed at him. “I’m sorry,” he apologised shamefacedly. “It’s a habit. I enjoy it but I’ve been told repeatedly that others do not. It’s been likened, at times, to snoring – and that was one of the more polite descriptions. Tim, I’ll try to keep quiet but...look, forget rank, just whack me across the head if I start up again. Alright?”

Tim smirked flashing his teeth. "I'm sure I can find something over here to throw at you if you wish?" He said with a little dismissive shake of his head then returned to work.

Jrez pulled apart one of the sample nanites. The first thing that struck him was that Ulanova had tinkered with slightly different nanites. That was only to be expected. She had a different task in mind so had a different starting point. The specs were detailed enough to allow him to work backwards then apply her methods to his own problem. For that he gave her silent thanks. He could have done this on his own but no point in reinventing the wheel.

He was chugging along merrily when it all came to a screaming halt. There was a slight branch in Ulanova’s path, one which Jrez had initially dismissed as minor and moved straight past. Only later did he realise how crucial it was but no matter what he did, he could not reconcile her approach with his problem.

Eventually he conceded that he needed outside help. He’d gotten the distinct impression from Ulanova that Lieutenant Lyons was needed where she was and he’d held off calling for her but he’d run out of options.

=/= Jrez to Lieutenant Ulanova =/=

Leanne tapped her combadge =/-Go ahead =/-

=/= I need Lieutenant Lyons’s assistance if you can spare her please, M’am. =/=

"We've completed our testing, be quick with her though, we've got other issues that need to be taken care of as well, we have a very sick patient."

While he was speaking, another name flashed into his mind.

=/= SCPO Jrez to Lieutenant Saunders. =/=

"Saunders here, go ahead." Fiona said as she continued on her work.

=/= Lieutenant, I’m working on the computer systems problems and could do with some help. Forgive me if I’m mistaken but I believe computers are your speciality. Do you have time to come down to Science Lab 2? =/=

"Sure, I think I can spare some time. I'm on my way." She stood up and attached the phaser to her belt. Last time she ventured out of a room she ended up on her face, not this time.

Helen made her way quickly to the science lab following the directions hastily given to her by Leanne, along with a warning not to be too long and to report back to Ops when finished. This was her first day and it’s been non-stop since she’d set foot in sickbay.

“Chief Jrez?” Helen asked as she entered the Lab, hoping that she was in the right place. “Lt Ulonova said that you might need my assistance.”

“Lieutenant Lyons?” Jrez replied. “Thank you for making the time available. I gather you’re rather hard pressed in Sickbay right now. I’m expecting Lieutenant Saunders too but I’ll fill you in on what’s going on and I can brief Lieutenant Saunders later if need be.”

Jrez gave a brief rundown of the computer problems. Then he handed over a padd with the specs Ulanova had sent him.

Helen quickly looked through the specs and listened as Jrez continued.

“Lieutenant Clarke of the Tomcat suggested we shift the primary functions to a redundant isolinear core. Crewman Edkins over there is working to identify one which meets the necessary requirements. My concern is that opening it up will only allow the nanites to infect it. I’ve been doing some tinkering and have come up with a nanite of my own which I think could work as an innoculant. That, however, is where I’d appreciate your skills. With your medical and research background, you’d undoubtedly do a better job than I have. The chief problem here is though that like so many things on this station, we don’t have much time. I also appreciate that you have to get back to Sickbay so any assistance you can render will be gratefully received. On a brighter note, if we can get the internal sensors up and running properly, it might just make your job easier.”

“Show me what you’ve done so far with your nanite design and we’ll see where we go from there.” Helen said handing the PADD back to Jrez. “It looks to me as if you have done a considerable amount of work on this already. Hopefully all it will need is a little tweaking to get it fit for the purpose of destroying these Borg nanites.”

Jrez brought the schematics of his nanite up on the padd. Grabbing a spare he brought the schematics of the Borg version up on it.

“I think if we target this bit here,” he said, pointing to what looked like a nodule on the side of the Borg nanite. “Sorry about the lack of technical terms but I don’t know them. It seems to play a key role in how the nanites attack the gel packs. If we can disable that we should be a long way towards defeating them. Then we can work on killing them off. I’m sorry, I tend to talk in medical terms which isn’t my field but I can’t help but seeing this as a disease which we need to eradicate. I know it’s not but that’s the best analogy I can come up with for how these things are operating.

“I have some ideas for how we can proceed but we need that...well, you know how important this is, you don’t need me to repeat it again.”

"Very well, lets get to work."

Helen moved to the bench where Jrez had been working and set to the task at hand. With help from Chief Jrez, Helen quickly understood the design behind the nanites that Doctor Ulonova had created. She then set herself to studying the Borg nanites that were infecting the gel packs in the computer core. They were a fascinating design and Helen could foresee many applications both medical and technical arising from the study of the technology contained in these tiny creatures. But that was not why she was here.

Now she studied the nanite that Chief Jrez had adapted. At first glance it looked perfect for the job he had designed it for. But on closer inspection she could see in the design why it was likely to fail. Jrez quickly stepped her through his build and he had come to the same conclusion. She was momentarily stumped, and then she remembered the research work of a former colleague of hers.

“Chief Jrez. I think this might fix the problem.” Helen picked up one of the PADDs and began to modify Jrez’s design with what she remembered from Doctor Baverstock’s work. When she had finished, Helen handed the PADD across to Jrez. “What do you think?”

Jrez looked over the details on the padd. “Lieutenant, well done! It’s obvious when you think of it but it just didn’t occur to me. That takes my design and lifts it to a whole new plane. For the first time, I’m starting to believe we just might be able to defeat this threat, rather than merely contain it. But.... It’s only a short term measure to get the primary systems up and running. We can develop it to provide a long term solution but we need something to knock these things on the head.” He scanned the faces around him. “I have an idea I think can sterilise the nanites but...does anyone know if the base has an expert on warp technology?”

“Chief?” Edkins said.

“Yes, Tim.”

“I heard there’s a new boffin on board who might be able to help.”

“His name,” Jrez prompted.

“Sorry, Chief, all I heard was Serge.”

=/= SCPO Jrez to...Serge. =/= He felt a bit of a fool but needs must as the devil drives – or so the old Earth saying had it.

No response.

=/= SCPO Jrez to Serge. =/=

“He might not have been issued with a commbadge yet,” Edkins suggested.

Jrez sighed. "There was nothing for it but to go to the Warp Field Lab and hunt from there." And hope I don’t run into the captain while I’m at it!

"Commander Lorran doesn't want anyone out there alone. Would you like us to go with you?"

"Quite right! Crewman Edkins, you're with me."

*Astrophysics Lab*

“Hello? Is there being someone there?”

Serge moved from the temporal mechanics lab through to the Astrophysics lab. He switched the lights on as he passed in and as he did so most of the equipment came on line. He gave a start, and then a second jump as he noticed Senior Chief Petty Officer Jrez enter. He dropped the Gravinometric probe he was holding and it clattered to the floor.

“I was not doing of anything,” Serge burst out, completely oblivious to the fact that he actually outranked the Trill. “That is, I was doing that which I am supposed to be doing. I am Science Officer and am… Sciencing?”

He waved his hand vaguely towards a monitor set up to run nebular dynamic simulations, “Oh, looking at this! Is very… interesting kinetic interactions. I…”

He stumbled into silence.

“Serge?” Jrez said hesitantly.

“Yes?” Serge didn’t like the idea that this man knew his name already. It boded. He didn’t know yet what it boded, but it DEFINITELY boded.

“Could I ask your full name please, Sir?”

Serge snapped to attention as he had been taught in the Accademy, “Ensign Serge Moshchnost, Astrophysics, Temporal Mechanics and Propulsion, Sir!”

Jrez had heard of absent minded academics but this man seemed to be the epitome. “May I have your assistance in Science Lab 2,” he asked politely. “If you would accompany me, I’ll explain our problem as we go.”

Serge went pale, “I… me… Certainly.”

*Science Lab 2*

“Firstly, may I introduce Ensign Serge Moshchnost. I’d like to propose a solution to the malfunctioning computer system which, I think, is simple,” Jrez began. “It’s the execution which will be difficult.”

Serge looked around the assembly with a slightly frightened look.

Jrez studied each of the faces before him. It could not at all be said they were hanging off his every word. The two women and one of the men outranked him and almost certainly knew more about what he was about to propose than he did. Damn, even young Edkins probably knew more than him! Yet somehow it was he who had taken the lead. He supposed he should be used to it – it had happened all too often over the years. But this was Starfleet; there were protocols, chains of command to be observed. Once again he was stepping outside all that.

“What I propose is this, that we subject the gel packs to temperatures above 400K. It should be enough to sterilise them. The nanites were designed to work under conditions suited to the Borg so, by my calculations, the sterilisation temperature will need to be higher than normal pasteurisation point. The way to do this is to run the base’s warp engines while the base remains stationary. That will create an inverse warp field which will bring internal temperatures up.

“That presents a major problem. 400K is 126C or 260F. Given this is way over the boiling point of water (and therefore all moisture in living tissue) there I no way any of us would survive. We could evacuate en masse but, even so, 611 is a very large station. It will take enormous power to achieve the desired temperature. I don’t know if our warp engines can produce that amount of power, let alone sustain it for the requisite time. The alternative is to transfer the computer – core by core, gel pack by gel pack – to the ships docked with us and get them to undertake the procedure. I hope it doesn’t come to that, so.... Anyone have any ideas?”

Serge considered, talking aloud, “We are needing a temperature of 400 Kelvin, 126.85 Centigrade or 260.33 Fahrenheit, yes? Well, we are knowing that the Combined Gas Law, implementing Avogadro, Charles and Boyle, states that increase in temperature of gaseous medium can be calculated according to its volume and the pressure by the formula PV = kNT or Pressure by Volume of area is directly equal to k, the Boltzmann constant of 1.381×10−23J•K−1 in SI units, multiplied by the Number of molecules by Temperature. Once we are having a vacuum sealed core we can be increasing the temperature by introducing extra volume of gas, though this will eventually reach the tolerance point for the atmospheric injectors. Regulation SFRA 102.19 states life support should maintain temperature at 22.5 and pressure at 101 kilopascals. I am not knowing what the tolerances are but I would be surprised if they are being much above 373 Kelvin. After that we are needing to find a way to excite the molecules. I am needing to know the exact volume of space in that we are dealing. Direct heating such as injection of plasma would risk additional damage to the delicate systems.”

Serge pauses for breath and a further thought hits him, “If we are to be generating a sub sonic vibration we might be increasing the energy but by the time we are putting enough energy into the system we would be risking breach of the containment. However if we are generating a localized subspace resonance to excite the particles and then a corresponding destructive interference pattern on the outsides we may be able to be protecting the walls from the direct effects.”

“There still is being a significant heating issue and we would be needing to vent the super heated gas safely. Sudden decompression should reduce the temperature markedly but again I am not knowing if the atmospheric regulators could be handling that sort of temperature gas. We might be using a helical verteron membrane channel to create a micro wormhole and dump it all into space. That is being an issue for Engineering.”

“To generate the subspace resonance we could be using warp reactor coils but they would need to be positioned correctly to generate their fields in an exact location. That is being our safest option but will require use of at least three starships. Otherwise we could be using the Communications array to generate short bursts of subspace white noise in the centre of the chamber. We need very precise arrays of subspace emitters being installed around the internal walls of the core to contain the effect. This is being a much more reliable method but will take a great deal of time to set up the exact positioning and run some testing. Perhaps a Soliton inducer and coupled diffusers would be better. They would certainly be the fastest to establish but Soliton waves are notoriously being prone to instability. We would be needing to manually monitor the wave throughout and have a very small window in which to be heating the gas before the experiment would need shutting down.”

Serge nods, having made a decision, “I am thinking Soliton is being our fast track solution. I could be having it set up in an hour or so. I am needing to link the majority of the secondary core to the processing and monitoring systems but if we are generating a high energy Soliton wave at one side of the core chamber and dissipate it at the other side that should energise the trapped gasses. If however the reaction variables deviate unexpectedly we will be blowing a hole through half the station. If you want the safest option, I would be going with the focused communications signals and disruption network, though that could take a couple of days to be getting right.”

Serge looks to the older scientist, forgetting completely that technically Serge had a higher rank, “How should we proceed?’

Much of what Serge said made sense but, then again, much went over Jrez’s head. He was happy to defer to wiser judgement.

"Chief Jrez. Pure science and engineering are not really in my fields of specialty.... the option you choose depends on how urgent it is that we have the Primary core up and running." Helen said into the waiting silence.

“If you can have a redundant Isolinear core up quickly that can take over station operations, then modifying the communications array is the best option for disinfecting the Primary Core. If not, then you might want to take the risk with the Soliton rays." Helen shrugged. "But as I said, it all depends on the urgency."


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