Oh, this will be a doozy… I suppose that’s not a very professional introduction but it’s a very accurate one. When Lieutenant Commander Bender arrived with Crewman Redmond Shert I figured it was just another case of Andorian flu. It had been going around on Starbase 313 before the “comet” devastation. (I can’t believe I am mentioning that as a side note of this report, but we were successful in treating most of the casualties. The death toll came to 33, most of them dead on arrival.)
Crewman Shert displayed almost all symptoms of the flu – high temperature, body aches and pains, a nasty cough and sore throat, headache. I took a sample of his blood to analyze and positively identify the flu virus, but to my surprise that is not what I found at all. That is, I didn’t find anything at first. It was as if there was nothing wrong with him… except for the fact that he was effectively dying from the flu something that hasn’t happened in hundreds of years. Nothing I gave him worked. Antivirals and antifebriles were all ineffective.
I had nurse practitioner Tribble take some tissue samples to analyze in her lab.
It was then that the biobed Crewman Shert was laying on malfunctioned. I recalled Lieutenant Commander Bender to sickbay to take a look at the problem. She looked over that bio bad like I looked over my patient – really confused as to what the problem might be – very unlike our chief engineer, who was usually ready with answers and brilliant solutions to complex problems.
NP Tribble returned with some results. She had managed to identify a virus before her equipment start to malfunction too. To determine how contagious this virus was we took blood and tissue samples from everyone in sickbay, including Lieutenant Commander Bender. Imagine our surprise at learning that we were all infected with the same virus. Except we weren’t sick… yet. I quarantined sickbay immediately. No one was getting in or out.
I wondered about the source of the infection – it had to be Starbase 313… clearly there was more to that “comet” story that no one believed anyway, but I digress. It would be impossible to pinpoint patient zero. We had since left the base and we did not have tissue samples from all of the crew. Just some of those we treated. There were so many injured… from the attack or comet or whatever… But not one person from our own crew… Usually there was at least a scrape, gash, sprained ankle, something! But it occurred to me that I had not treated a single member of our own crew since we left that Starbase. A fluke of good health and accident free living? Doubtful. We needed more tissue samples from the rest of the crew. Thankfully I could simply contact the off duty medical personnel and they could collect and deliver the samples to sickbay.
That was how we found out that every single member of the crew was infected. But still only Crewman Shert was ill and the biobed he was laying on. And the instruments that had analyzed his samples… Could this virus spread from humans to machines? I ask NP Tribble to analyze Mr Shert’s full genetic profile while I went to work on the virus’ RNA sequence. We had to work fast. Mr. Shert’s condition was deteriorating.
My findings were astonishing to say the least. The virus was indeed capable of infecting man and machine. Ms. Tribble’s diligent work also yielded interesting results. There was a unique element in Mr. Shert’s DNA that acted as a switch for this virus… turned it’s extreme healing properties destructive. Ms. Tribble was sure she could flip this switch back with some “good old-fashioned genetic engineering”. As a witness to her recent work – I did not doubt she could pull it off.
I had so many questions at this point. I was absolutely certain that this “well” virus was not naturally occurring. Was someone trying to create a so called “fountain of youth”? Did that have something to do with the attack on SB 313? If Crewman Shert’s genetic makeup triggered something in the virus to cause harm rather than heal – how fast would that effect the rest of the ship? Already more systems in sickbay were starting to fail… And if we managed to flip the switch back… would everything be repaired again?
I started to feel feverish… I decided to check on NP Tribble’s progress. On my way to the lab I saw our chief engineer working feverishly (literally), trying to purge the effected systems.
NP Tribble was breaking out some ancient equipment she had replicated long before this “incident”. Equipment relying less on computers. We worked in silence unless we needed to speak. We were both feeling the ill effects of the virus. We could only imagine the rest of the crew starting to do the same. After all, as it spread through the computer, quarantining sickbay proved to be ineffective. I heard the Captain’s voice over the con. I told him to stand by. We did not have time to explain.
By the time we were reasonably sure we had what we needed to “switch off” the unique gene in Crewman Shert we could barely walk. We ambled over with an old fashioned syringe NP Tribble had and injected the cure… A strange mist descended over sickbay and I slid down to the floor. I saw a couple of men in black uniforms enter sickbay…
When we woke up, Crewman Shert was gone. Not just from sickbay, but as it turned out, the ship as well. His file just stated “reassigned”. Reassigned where? And how? It’s not like we had reached our new destination yet – Starbase 14.
We were also virus free. Good virus, bad virus, gone virus. The mist… maybe it wasn’t a figment of my feverish imagination. Maybe it had been a cure…
Chief Medical Officer’s log – supplemental. After logging my report of the incident it was immediately classified… I expect it’ll be soon purged from record entirely.
IOIS – College of US History
CUSH 101 – 1600-1699 DISTINCTION