Chapter 30 - In Sickbay

ON: Sickbay

Safely and, thanks to his golden glove, painlessly rematerialised after his intraship transport from deck 1, Evan made his way to Sickbay quickly. He didn’t want to be away from the bridge for too long. The situation on the planet was, if not quite as precipitous as in its initial phases, still nowhere near resolved. The Romulans on the planet – a research team, if they were to be believed – had given the away team sanctuary, but the drones were still out there and there was no way to know how long they would remain uninterested in the away team’s location.

That was a mystery in itself – why were the drones so disinterested in what appeared to be some old scientific facility? The Romulans weren’t forthcoming with information, claiming they didn’t have any, but even the scans taken by the away team couldn’t identify anything unusual about the facility that could explain its safety. That is, if you excluded the canisters containing nanotech, but those were inactive.

So, a mystery, and one Evan didn’t have to be on the bridge to get to the bottom of, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that he would miss something while elsewhere on the ship. Still, he needed to check in with Sickbay. People had been injured by the attempt to overcome the interference field preventing transport from the planet, and he wanted to see how they were doing.

He entered Sickbay and immediately saw Dr. Darney, speaking with a tall Vulcan junior officer he wasn’t familiar with. So many new faces I still don’t recognise. “Doctor,” he said, approaching the pair. “How are the injured?”

Adrianna nodded as she concluded her conversation with another medical officer. “Captain,” she acknowledged. “Mostly minor injuries. We’ve been able to stabilize all but a couple, and they should be fine after we can run a few neurological treatments to prevent more extensive progressive neuropathy, as their nervous systems were basically fried.” She paused and then looked up at the other officer. “We are also,” she gestured to the patients, “going to attempt a new somatic treatment as well, to ensure healing of their parasympathetic nervous systems.” It was a unique approach, one that she usually wouldn’t have bothered with, but these injuries were more unique than basic plasma electrocution, so the additional therapy could only help to support the nervous system in its regeneration.

All of which was far beyond the basic medical training Evan had received back in the Academy. He looked to the Vulcan and asked, “Will it improve their prognoses by much?”

“It’s something new, but in this case, it is worth the attempt.”

Evan nodded – more because he had recognised a few of the words than because he had understood the medicine involved – and looked back to Darney. Lt. Davies-Muir had mentioned second degree burns and toxic smoke inhalation, so he was glad to hear there wouldn’t be any long-term damage. Still, the idea that the attempt to rescue the away team had caused neurological damage was worrying for a number of reasons.

“Doctor, you said their nervous systems had been fried,” he said. “Were you able to tell what type of energy caused the damage?” Because if it was more than a blown EPS relay, if something connected to the slipstream drive was at fault again …

Adrianna nodded, as she’d been expecting this question. “To be honest, it’s something I’m still investigating. At first glance, the injuries seemed pretty standard, but the damage left behind was more severe than you’d normally see in such cases. That, and it was very hit-and-miss. One patient received a full hit and only received first and second-degree dermal burns, while others were on the periphery and only received a half dose of the shock, but….” she half-shrugged at the other patients still unconscious under the biobed arches. “It’s as if the secondary patients had something internal that acted as a repeater of some sort, extending and amplifying the discharge when it ordinarily would’ve phased off…” She cringed internally, knowing how ludicrous it sounded. “As I said, I’m still investigating.”

Evan scratched his chin. There was a slight temporal element to the mechanics of quantum slipstream – creating and sustaining the field required certain laws of physics to be exploited at the infinitesimally smallest scale – but he doubted it could explain the anomalous injuries. For one thing, the effect only lasted for a tiny fraction of a nanosecond. For another, it wasn’t strong enough to affect anything above the subatomic level. There had been a power surge, and the personnel had been working near the deflector, but even then …

“A multi-looping pulse from the deflector could’ve kept the discharge circulating, but that would’ve affected the primary patients as well,” he mused. The safeties had been off, but that didn’t explain the unusual pattern. “Engineering hasn’t performed a full analysis of the damage yet, but I’ll ask them to provide you with more details once they have.”

JP by:

Lt. Commander Adrianna Darney


USS Hiroshima-B

Capt. Evan Yearling

Commanding Officer

USS Hiroshima-B