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Blinding Them With Science

Posted on Sat Oct 6th, 2018 @ 10:10am by Lieutenant Varina Hightower & Lieutenant Daynah Ral & Lieutenant JG Ozanna Isuri & Ensign Tiberius Augusta & Lieutenant Commander Nokomis Diza & Sub Lieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih
Edited on on Wed Oct 10th, 2018 @ 2:23pm

Mission: Mission 1: Unscheduled Madness
Location: Deck 12 - Sick Bay
Timeline: Day 6 - 1100 hrs

Daynah with Lieutenant t'Ehhelih's help had arrived at Sick Bay. In tow was two carts which contained all of the various equipment needed from the Science Labs to run the tests on the first volunteers. Daynah knew that no matter what the results were they would be inconclusive until she could get more volunteers. To that end she hoped that the XO could help with wrangling some people up. "Dr Hightower good morning. Where shall we set up?" Daynah spoke with the excited lilt of a scientist on the hunt for a new breakthrough.

Varina stood up from her desk when she heard the Infirmary doors open. By the time she made it out to the main triage area, Lt. Ral alteady had 2 carts worth of equipment inside. "Let's set up in Lab 2. We'll have direct access to the computer database from there, our readings can be uploaded directly to any files we create, and there are a few biobeds there for this sort of testing." She acknowledged the others who had accompanied the Lieutenant with a nod.

Vriha was more silent. While she would normally be excited to the point of nearly vibrating over the opportunity for new scientific discovery, privately she doubted that they would find anything - or, if they did find anything, that it could be trusted. After all, if their perceptions were not real, either becuase some factor was causing hallucaination or (more likely in her increasingly paranoid mind) they were being actively manipulated, then how could they trust any reading or result? And if evidence was untrustworthy, then how could they form a valid hypothesis let alone confirm it?

Nokomis breathed out air and stood just outside sickbay, she resisted the urge to put her forehead against the bulkhead and just rest there for a moment. Her emotions were all over the place lately and she didn't know if it was because she was falling for Tiber, or the anomaly they seemed to be stuck in where she'd seen apparitions of her father and Logan. She blinked a couple of times and gathered herself together before entering through the double doors.

"Let us get the EEG set up over there." Daynah said as she pointed to an area near the biobeds. Her plan was to get as much done before the patients arrived. Daynah knew that there had to be an answer in science, be it medical or something else. People just do not experience what this crew is experienced for no reason.

Seeing Nokomis entering sickbay, Tiber decided to hang back by a few seconds so people wouldn't assume they had arrived together. They hadn't, but he wanted to male sure no one put two and two together. Sickbay was alive with activity, buzzing with medical and science officers who loved nothing more than to poke and prod around. Tiber stood awkwardly next to Nokomis, looking directly ahead of him without turning his head to look at him.
"Commander." He grunted politely.

Nokomis gave him a slight smile. "Ensign." She didn't think there was any need to play things so controlled but knew Tiber wasn't comfortable with the rest of the ship knowing their relationship. She moved toward Doctor Hightower. "Doctor, I originally came to just observe the findings but I believe I would like to offer myself up as a patient."

Varina nodded. "Of course. The larger our sampling pool, the more accurate our findings." She looked back to the XO, noticing the look she carried. "You okay, Commander?"

"Yes, yes, fine, I just seem to be affected by this along with everyone else and thought I would offer myself as a lab rat."

The doctor nodded and returned to prepping for the testing.

Ozzie arrived a bit after everyone else. She'd had to leave her department in the care of other officers. She trusted her senior Non-coms to keep everything going as best as could be expected. "Okay," Ozzie clapped her hands together. She was out of her element and a little uncertain what to do with her self in a medical bay, although she had no fear of sawbones like a lot of other people she knew. "Where do you want me?"

Daynah motioned toward two of the biobeds. "Ensign, Lieutenant if we can have you sit on these beds we can get started with the questioning. You see some minor empirical data would need to be acquired before we can go into actual tests. Computer begin recording. This is phase one testing to find the source of hallucinations. Doctors Hightower, Ral, and t'Ehhelih presiding. Now if each of you could tell us in your own words what happens when the visions or hallucinations start." Before they could answer Ral hooked them up to the neural scanners. Eliza don't fail me know Daynah thought, I won't... the voice of the doctor came through Ral's thoughts.

Ozzie got comfortable and folded her hands over her belly. "I had just finished talking to Doctor Hightower and was waiting in the hall for her. I spoke with Chief Vella Nevon over the comm line, to give her an update and some orders. That was real, everything we discussed was addressed and I checked with her later to be sure. Then I thought I saw some movement at one of the junctures and went to investigate. There was nothing there, but when I turned around, I saw intruders outside of the medical bay doors. I confronted them and we grappled. It felt real. Very real. I can't really say that I felt any different from reality at any point until the vision ended. It was like a seemless dream, when you nod off but you don't know you've nodded off."

Daynah nodded "I see... And this was the first time that any sort of hallucination or vision had occured?" Daynah asked Ozanna and then turned toward Dr Hightower. "Doctor I presume a physical examination was made after the vision. If so, and of course with the Lieutenant's permission I would like the results of that exam entered into this record so we may look it over."

The CMO nodded. "There was. I have the records if she warrants my sharing it." She looked at Ozzie.

"Share away. Anything to contribute to figuring this mess out. And yes, it was the first time," Ozzie confirmed for Lt.Ral. "I mean, to my knowledge. I would imagine I could have had other lapses and never known it, if they hadn't been especially eventful. They would have just seemed like any other part of the day, I guess. So I couldn't say for certain, but I think that was the only time I've experienced it."

Tiber had chosen to remain standing on the sidelines while science and medical staff took their readings and scans, the excitement on the face of the chief science officer was enough for Tiber to want to keep his distance, such.....enthusiasm, was not what he would consider endearing. He began to recount his story to the nurse assigned him.

It was a struggle to overcome the paranoid impulse to imagine this was being staged, some sort of ruse to bend her to some dark purpose, BUT she was scientist and evidence suggested that was a lower probability than other causes. Even if those causes were presently unknown. Scientific method was her one sure anchor to sanity. "If we can establish exactly where and when these incidents occurred, perhaps we can find a common variable. Or failing that, a sequence of time and place, indicating potentially a type of waveform. That might allow us to at least observe an episode as it occurs and so determine the brain centers affected."

"Ens. Augusta has everything we know about all of the reported incidents that have come to the attention of medical and security. If you want to talk patterns, he's your man," Ozzie recommended. "What do you mean, waveform? Do you mean you want to observe me until we think I've had another vision?"

"Perhaps not you specifically, but as it appears that these incidents have affected ...many on the crew, and repeatedly," Vriha paused briefly. Due to her vision of a Breen ship the intel officer at least suspected that she was among that number, but it was not information she could bring herself to share, as it would obligate her to volunteer for exam. "So monitoring a representative number of the crew may allow us to directly observe such an incident. As to waveform, one possibility for the lack of results from our scans is that the cause is periodic and/or mobile. That may indicate a natural phenomenon, or..." she swallowed, glancing face to face for reaction. "...a weapon that requires time to recharge."

"I have thought about the possibility of a weapon. That is why we will need to obtain permission for all medical exams that Dr Hightower performed. If it is a weapon there should be an entrance and exit wound of sorts. At the very least there will be evidence of the attack. Vriha will you handle the examination of Ensign Augusta and I will take the Lieutenant and then we can compare notes." Daynah spoke with confidence and began to follow scientific method. However, that cover came with multiple lifetimes. Her conscious mind was flooded with visions from all of Ral's previous hosts. They were all of the doubts that each host has ever had. She pushed those thoughts to the back of her mind as she concentrated on the here and now. She shook her head visibly to push the thoughts away.

Vriha considered the reply. Neural process disruptions that could cause such hallucination could also arise from exposure to certain particle field variances, sometimes even on a quantum level. However, mentioning that would involve discussion of data that Starfleet might be unaware of, so she kept her reply vague as she moved toward Tiber to begin the exam. "There should be evidence of some cause, but a well-designed weapon would leave doubt as to whether the cause was a natural phenomenon or intentional."

"You science types can put your brains together on this while I get a nap in. I have a shift in four hours, and maybe you can stick a mobile monitor to me for when I have to leave?" Ozzie suggested to Daynah.

Daynah smiled at the Ensign. "You go ahead and relax we will wake you if we need you, or when your shift starts, whichever comes first. However, before you relax we will need to know everything you may have surmised about a pattern with these happenings among the crew." Daynah turned to Ozanna. "What I would like to do is attached this adapted cortical monitor to you. I have programmed it to uplink to the computer when or if you have another vision. This will not only record the time of the vision but it will also actually project the images of the vision into the computer. We will then be able to see what is happening. Ideally I will attach these to each member of the Senior Staff that is affected. From there I may be able to formulate a pattern as the Sub Lieutenant stated, and with the pattern comes a solution."

As she spoke her thoughts were not in sync with her statements. For within her mind was the voice of Eliza Ral, the scientist. This voice kept repeating that Daynah was a fake, a wannabe. Worst of all Eliza Ral stated that there was no way Daynah would or could ever be a scientist.

"I can't say I'm real keen on people seeing inside my head. I didn't know we had the technology for that. I wonder if people could get a warrant issued on their brains? That's gotta be sticky legal matter." She frowned. "I don't know. Being monitored, that's one thing. Being peeked in on during my subconscious meanderings?" She exhaled gruffly. "Tell me El-Tee, would you do it? Get a tap on your subconscious for people to see?"

Vriha suppressed an agreeing nod. She was glad though to know that others felt the same way about such intrusion and it wasn't simply a function of growing paranoia. However, she was even more glad that she had not volunteered to be examined.

Daynah blushed deeply. In her excitement she forgot the first rule, obtain consent. "Lieutenant, Ensign I am sorry I should have explained this first. Seeing your visions would allow us to determine if these are mere day dreams or actual hallucinations. I am sure Dr Hightower would agree that the treatment and the possible causes of either of those are vastly different. However, if you do not wish it I will not attach the monitor."

"I work in law enforcement. I know what happens when personal information gets taken out of context. Innocent people become suspects, their reputations get ruined, trust is broken. Sometimes they're unjustly accused and even sentenced." Ozzie sat up slightly, propped on her elbows. "I'm not in control of my dreams and they're kind of subjective, like anyone else's. Sometimes violent and dark. I've worked abuse cases, rape, assault, murder.... you may not want to see the crime scenes my mind knows from case studies, criminal psyche courses and the like. So tell me who needs to see the information and how it's going to be stored."

Varina spoke up to answer the question. "Lt. Ral and myself will be the only ones who will be able to view what's projected from the monitor we place on anyone. As Daynah said, it's more to establish what's real and what's in your mind, not to make judgments on what we see. And like anything here, what is shared with us is protected by doctor-patient confidentiality." The issue brought up was a valid one, enough that the doctor understood if anyone backed out, given this development. So she hoped her answer was sufficient

Ozzie looked thoughtful about those terms and conditions. "Okay, she said, "I want to do what I can to help. The safety of the ship is my responsibility, and I can't fight apparitions in hand to hand combat. This seems like my next best bet."

"Will that be sufficient for you as well?" Vriha asked Tiber, keeping her expression as neutral as possible. She couldn't imagine trusting this Federation notion of doctor-patient confidentiality, let alone expecting a Tal Shiar officer to accept it, but perhaps Starfleet intel officers, like the rest of Starfleet, were far more trusting.

Daynah did not fully understand what the fuss was all about. This was science and in true science there were no feelings. However, here they all were. She picked one of the monitors off the instrument tray and affixed it to her own skull just behind her left ear. "As a sign of good faith I will wear one of these monitors as well. I have not had any visions, or hallucinations however, if they start to develop we will head it off at the pass as the saying goes. Besides I would love to see what Ral dreams of." She smiled as she spoke, and she genuinely hoped that the others would feel comforted by her joining in the study, as both doctor and patient.

With a wry, knowing smile Ozzie teased Vriha, "You want in on this too?"

Vriha cringed inwardly. "I will not be viewing anything projected from the monitors, so I do not believe such... I believe you call it 'quid pro quo' ...will be necessary on my part," she replied primly.

Varina placed the programmed probe lightly on Lt. Isuri's right temple. She stepped back when it was in place. "You're all set, Lieutenant. Just go about your normal routine. If you have any concerns, please come see me or Lt. Ral. Got it?"

"Roger that, Doc." Ozzie settled her shoulders back into the bio bed and gave the thumbs up sign. "Can I just get a blanket? I'll take that nap first."

"Doctor Hightower it would probably be best if all of the data was routed to the Sick Bay computers. This way we can evaluate the data together as well as keeping them secure." Daynah turned to Varina as she spoke.

The CMO nodded with a smile. "Already one step ahead o' ya. We're set up already. You and I are the only ones with access to the programs."

Daynah smiled at the Doctor. "Well then I think we are all set here. Go about your duties as normal and we will do the rest. It seems now all we need is a good hallucination." Daynah's smile broadened at the thought of the breakthrough that she had the utmost confidence they would get.

Lieutenant Daynah Ral
Chief Science Officer, USS Orion

Lieutenant Varina Hightower
Chief Medical Officer, USS Orion

Sublieutenant Vriha t'Ehhelih
Science Officer, USS Orion

Lieutenant Commander Nokomis Diza
Executive Officer, USS Orion

Lieutenant Junior Grade Ozanna Isuri
Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Orion


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