Chapter 11 - Checkups and Checklists

Stardate 74980.81


Akia glided into the fresh, pristine environment of the brand-new Sickbay amid the organized chaos of T’Praeva’s medical staff preparing it for the ship’s accelerated launch.

“Very well, Doctor, let’s get started,” he greeted as he made his way through the bustle.

T’Preava set down the diagnostic equipment she was using to calibrate the thrombic modulator and took a tricorder from a surgical tray on the room’s central console. “Please take a- hmm. Please position yourself over biobed 3.” She screwed her brow overly tight as she gestured over to the bed in the middle of the row. It had been a busy day but T’Preava was not usually in the habit of making such egregious errors.

The captain complied, lowering himself to the indicated biobed and deactivating his gravitic insulation. He addressed himself to the personnel around him while she prepared her instruments. “Now remember, we’re on a tight scheduleso I expect a glowing report.”

“Do you refer to your own health report? I should hope all is well regardless of what schedule we’re on.” T’Preava activated the scan on the bed’s console. Results were quick to show normal vitals for Akia. She activated the tricorder to hand-scan Akia’s gravitics; it wasn’t data that was recorded by the standard biobed scan. While it was processing data, T’Preava thought it best to inform the captain of her recent findings. “I should inform you that earlier today, Lieutenant T’Shan and I found a biological fault in the gel pack in biobed 5. There is a medical team conducting a sweep of the ship at the moment.”

Akia’s demeanor took on a more serious aspect as he processed the information. “A biological fault? That’s unusual. Do we know what caused it?” He forced himself up a little to better see the affected biobed.

The tricorder snapped shut and the chimes of the scan ceased. “I believe it to be a pathogen that was introduced to the ship during the refit. A waterborne infection.” T’Preava walked to the central console of the room, where a line of vials sat with samples of the same gels contained in the walls of the ship. “The infection is not lethal to the organisms used in the bioneural network, in fact, it is easily dispatched by the natural immune system.”

T’Preava picked up one of the vials and set it towards Akia so he could see it. She could feel the waves of sonar over the hairs on her skin as she removed her hand from the vial. It was clouded with a stream of dark matter running through most of its length. “However, Captain, once the infection is dispatched, it is the dead matter left behind that causes chemical reactions within the gel packs. The systems become confused by contradictory information and misfires.” The doctor recalled the experience earlier in the day. “In this case it simply caused a biobed to misread information from its scans, in other systems it could trigger any possible command.”

Akia studied the vial intently, his eyes narrowing as the acoustic properties of the darkened biomatter streaking throughout it painted a vivid picture in his perception. His mind raced, considering the implications of what T’Praeva was saying.

“I see,” he finally said, his voice calm but with an undercurrent of concern. “That’s serious. We can’t afford that kind of vulnerability, especially with these mission parameters.”

His gaze shifted back up to her. “So what’s the plan, Doctor? Can we treat the affected gel packs, or will we need to replace them?”

The doctor reiterated, “There is a medical team assessing the status of every gel pack on the ship, they’ve begun in engineering and will sweep deck-by-deck…” then added, “once they assess that the gel pack is infected or has been infected, they will isolate it and the matter will be handed to the operations division to replace each affected system.” It was a massive number to consider, but the doctor sounded certain in her assessment. “Your gravitic systems seem to be working within acceptable parameters. I believe your medical scan is complete.” The doctor reached into her pocket, bringing out a silicon sphere in view of him. “Unless you think this is necessary, captain?”

Akia’s eyes flicked to the sphere, and a glint of playful amusement returned to his gaze. “I appreciate the offer, but I wouldn’t want to tire you out.”

With a final check of his neural interface, he reactivated his gravitics and gracefully lifted off the biobed. “Hourly reports until this situation is resolved, Doctor. And thank you for the thorough checkup. It’s good to know we’re in safe hands.” And with that, he glided out of sickbay, leaving T’Praeva and her team to continue their preparations.