Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Before we Begin
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD004 1400 hrs

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Posted on Wed Nov 21st, 2018 @ 1:20am by Lieutenant Angela Abernathy & Bones EMH Mark V & Gunnery Sergeant Flarn & Lieutenant Commander Hermia O'Rourke MD & Captain Cornelius Tremble
Edited on on Wed Nov 21st, 2018 @ 1:48am

Mission: Episode 5 - It Would Be Their Pleasure
Location: Sick Bay
Timeline: MD003 2000 hrs
2894 words - 6 OF Standard Post Measure

Neil wiped at his face with a field towel as he walked from the holo tank, tired from a day of training for the upcoming Tadian IV mission. Back in the team area, he stripped off the environmental suit, and combat harness he’d been wearing for eight hours and put it into the fresher.

He was ready for some down time and a meal, but then he remembered that there was something he needed to do. He hadn’t been putting it off, just that other things had popped up that had tied up life. He had a duty to do: and more than that, he owed Flarn.

Between Temporal affairs and Fleet medical he’d been willing to let them get their crap together. But so far, it hadn’t happened. Both seemed overly content to wait and see. There might not be anything Neil could do either, but he needed to at least go check on him.

And push.

That mentality drove him into the sonic shower, set to flense, and then into utilities. As he stalked towards medical, Neil adjusted his cover and gauged his step. If you payed attention, you could time the door openings just right and not have to pause as it opened.

You just had to be careful not to run into anyone.

Walking in, he moved towards Flarn’s bio-bed and glanced at the readouts.

Tremble, or more accurately the being that was Tremble had died. Did that mean that Tremble died? Flarn had no idea what the hell was going on, nor did he know how the hell to get back to the Pioneer. For now he stuck to what he knew. Weapons and strategy... He managed to escape that infernal station in a runabout. He set a course for Earth, his idea was to see how the Federation stood. Perhaps that would lead him home.

"El Tee, I take it you're here to check on Sergeant Flan's condition." Hermia said approaching the Marine.

Nodding, Neil didn't take his eyes off Flarn until the Doctor came within a meter. "Yes Lieutenant. Any changes?" He hadn't spent much time in Sickbay and was still settling who was who amongst the crew.

"No, but he's stable and he's breathing on his own. We're monitoring his lifesigns, but we can't do anything further until we reach Empok Nor." Hermia replied.

"Some improvement. Wait and see." Neil said deliberately. "No offense, but you and Temporal Affairs aren't petri dishing my Sergeant, are you Doc?"

"No, Lieutenant, I take my oath seriously." Hermia replied. "The reason I can't do anything more for him, is that I don't posses the skills or experience in neural surgery, required to treat his condition."

Flarn sat in the pilot's seat of the runabout and watched as the starfield passed. He was hypnotized in a way. Before he knew it the shuttle dropped from warp into impulse speed as he entered the Sol system. The timing seemed off to the Sergeant, it was simply too quick. What should have taken months of travel only happened in moments. Flarn was flummoxed, he just did not have the mind for science or mechanics. Flarn brought the shuttle to an all stop and ran diagnostics on all systems. He found that the shuttle was in working order and that he was indeed in the Sol System. He laid in a course for Earth, however, before the shuttle could even move a small group of fighters decloaked and issued challenge. "We are the Imperial Earth Defense Fighter Group. Please identify yourself and prepare to be boarded." Flarn sighed as he formulated a response. "Where is GORRAM TREMBLE?" he shouted to the empty cabin of the shuttle...

Neil winced and took a half step back as pain erupted behind his eyes and between his ears. He half recognized it as something sonic....something telepathic and his eyes darted immediately to the Dr.. He knew she was Betezoid, but she was staring at him and he was reasonably sure she wasn't causing it.

Glancing back at Flarn he frowned some more, feeling ire raise in him and took a breath. He'd actually had a bit of training in dealing with telepathic enemies. This didn't feel quite like that and he considered again, then let his gut take over and he inhaled.

"Sergeant Flarn," he stated in his best parade ground voice,"You will haul your sorry carcass out of that rack and present yourself for duty. You've been shirking your duties for long enough and it's time for this to end. I think you're gold bricking, Sergeant Flarn and I'm going to assign you every crappy detail I can think of if you don't roll out and get your crap together."

Pausing to collect his thoughts and see if he had any effect, he continued. "Off and On, Sergeant Flarn. Or maybe it should be Private Flarn. You've been lazing about like a Fleet sailor missing their mama and it's going to stop right now!"

Flarn had the idea that if he couldn't beat them he should join them. To that end he was about to give in to their requests, when something welled up within him something that told him to fight. So he initiated a barrel roll and opened fire. Just like that two of the fighters burst into flames as the phaser fire caught them off guard and before their shields were raised. With the destruction of the two fighters Flarn turned to leave the system at high impulse. The fighters made chase while taking shots at Flarn's shuttle. The plan seemed to be working as his shuttle was approaching Neptune and pulling away from the fighters. The Tellarite glanced down at the console to check the weapons and the shields and when he looked back up he saw Earth. Flarn engaged a reverse course, but no matter what direction he went in he would eventually wind up back at Earth. He just was not sure what was going on here...

An alarm sounded and Hermia raced to Flarn's side. "ELT, the Sergeant's condition is worsening. Looks like I'm going to have to intervene." Hermia said. She then contacted the Duty Operations Officer. "This is Dr. O'Rourke, get me a connection to Dr. Abernathy on Empok Nor."

"Aye, ma'am, establishing connection now." The Ops officer said.

Doctor Angela Abernathy had been on rounds when she was informed of the urgent call the the Pioneer's ACMO. "Dr O'Rourke what can I do for you?" The blonde woman smiled softly.

"I have a Tellarite patient who has experienced neural displacement due to exposure to trans-dimensional space. He is currently comatose and his autonomic systems have been stable until recently. His heart rate and breathing have increased as have the neural chemicals associated with physical and mental stress. He requires neural surgery and I am out of my depth." Hermia reported, blocking out the emotions of those around her.

Angela cocked an eyebrow it seemed that the Hermia was in a jam, and this happening when Richard was on leave. Angela sighed deeply. "Where is the Pioneer right now? It is possible for me to get on a shuttle..." The neurologist was interrupted by O'Rourke.

"There's no time, you're going to have to talk me through it." Hermia said.

Angela turned to someone that was just beyond the comm screen. "Get me a data link to the Pioneer STAT." She then turned back to Hermia. "Alright doctor what I am going to do is get the patient's medical file and walk you through this using a holo-projection. Scrub up and when you are finished I will be ready."

Neil backed up, watching the medical staff move into action. His place wasn't here but the lack of Feeling he was getting from O'Rourke had him concerned. With Betazoids, you usually got more empathy than less.

Which meant, he needed to stick around. Looking at O'Rourke, he said, "I only know battlefield first aid, but if you need a spare set of hands I'm here, Doc."

"Thank you, ELT, I'll take you up on that." Hermia said.

"We are ready here. Activate your EMH I am going to use his holo emitters." Angela stated the confidence that she exuded covered up the doubt that played in the back of her mind. She had never tried this before, but a person's life hung in the balance.

It seemed that no matter where he set his course, he always wound up on Earth. That issued coupled with the Earth fighters that now fired upon him caused Flarn to run out of options. What made matters worse was that his vision had begun to fog. The shuttle's control's steadily became harder to use and to see. He sat in the pilot's seat as the shuttle sat at an all stop. The Tellarite shook his head in an attempt to shake off whatever it was that effected him. "Well this is it and if I am to end then I will give them such an end." He spoke to the empty shuttle, and as he did his vision cleared enough for him to lay in and engage one more course. The shuttle charged at the fighters at maximum speed, it's weapons shot out in all directions. Flarn's final intent was to ram the fighters, however, he would not know if that succeeded as the moment he engaged the course he slumped in the seat unconscious.

With everything set up they were ready to begin.

"Computer activate EMH" Neil spoke to the air as he followed Abernathy's instructions.

A swirl of light and energy preceded the materialization Bones the Pioneer's EMH. The hologram with the face of one of the greatest doctors in history smiled as he began to speak. "Now, what do we have..." His normal greeting was cut short as his photons fizzled. "Now wait one darn..." He tried to speak again but was cut off again as he de-materialized. He was immediately replaced with a holographic image of Dr Angela Abernathy.

"Dr O'Rourke..." Angela nodded at the Pioneer's ACMO. "Lieutenant, I am afraid you are going to have to be my hands on this." The matronly doctor looked at Tremble with an air of sympathy for the situation that he was being placed into. "Okay so the first thing that we need to look at is his frontal cortex. This is the area of the brain that is responsible for temporal information processing and short and long-term memory. Now here is the rub, in a Tellarite, their frontal and prefrontal cortices are where a human's cerebellum would be located. So it is going to take a steady hand. You are going to have to roll the patient and use a molecular laser scalpel." The Angela hologram stood next to Tremble and observed. As the strenuous surgery began.

"EL T, if you'll help me turn the sergeant?" Hermia asked.

Neil was tempted to make a comment about not having a spatula, but decided his choice to handle stress with humor wouldn't be appropriate amongst the Fleet. He grasped Flarn by a shoulder as O'Rourke kicked and kneed the bio bed controls and it shifted making turning the Telarite manageable.

When Flarn was rolled over to his stomach Angela activated the surgical shields and informed the bridge that major surgery was about to begin. "Okay Doctor, make your incisions here. Second Lieutenant you will have to monitor his life signs. Call out any changes to anything. Also keep an eye on the brain map. Let us know any regions that become active and when." Angela glanced at that screen and saw that the cortices were active but so was his cerebellum which would indicate that his brain was devoid of personality. "Facinating...." she whispered.

Hermia took the molecular laser scalpel from the tray, took a deep breath and made her first incision.

Neil stepped to an unobtrusive position and hesitantly touched the screen, setting alarms for the life signs and visual cues for the brain map on the secondary monitor nearest him. After that, he left the controls alone.

"Yes well done doctor. Now easy does it and pull the outer layer to the side. We need to see what is going on under there. Come on Sergeant you come back to us now you heaping pile of slop. Not only are you the worst example of a Tellarite that I have ever seen but you are the worst example of a living creature that I have ever seen." Angela spoke harshly to Flarn. She knew that the only thing a Tellarite seemed to respect was a good insult.

After a time, Neil calmed and, with little else to do he began flipping through some of the imaging options available on the machine, looking at different representations of the Sergeants brain in visual spectrums. That reminded him of technology used to maintain their own weapons, specifically degradation of alloys in weapon barrels and charge chambers.

Tapping his com-badge, he sub vocalized. "Computer compare the current images of Sergeant Flarns brain scan to those of his last three exams. Then compare and extrapolate, reporting those differences in layman's terms, to my ear bud."

Neil pulled the bud from his belt and pushed it into his ear canal, then waited twenty seconds until the computer reported. It didn't mean much to him, but he wasn't an expert in making beings better.

Usually it was the opposite. But, in this case: "Computer, repeat over this suites blower." Dutifully, the Pioneer's computer voice relayed the findings. "Extrapolation indicates that the Suprachiasmatic nucleus in the Hypothalamus appears inactive. In layman's terms, the Sergeants internal clock seems to be stalled."

Hermia examined her patient's brain and the scans. "Doctor, could reactivate the Suprachiasmatic nucleus, by using an electrical pulse?" She asked Abernathy.

Angela looked at Niel's findings and then over at the patient. "That should do it Doctor. Well done Second Lieutenant, well done indeed." She smiled softly.

Hermia picked up a cortical stimulator and set it to 50mv. Placing it on the Suprachiasmatic nucleus, she activated it with a tricorder.

The pulse went though Flarn's brain.

Hermia waited, but there was no reaction, so she increased it to 60mv and activated the pulse.

This time it worked and Hermia closed up the incision, before returning the Tellarite to his back, with Tremble's help.

He was coming in and out of consciousness, and the Tellarite was at a loss as to what was happening. One moment he heard the shuttle's computer counting down to impact with one of the fighters. The next he heard voices talking about him. He recognized two of the voices as Dr O'Rourke and Lieutenant Tremble. But what he did not understand was why they spoke of him like he was near death. I am right here, in the shuttle he would shout. But they seemed to not acknowledge what he said. El T get me out of here before impact. Three...Two...One...the computer sounded off. Well this is it, this is how I go he spoke to the fighter that loomed in front of him.

Flarn's eyes fluttered open and he saw the two people and one hologram standing over him. He tried to speak but nothing came out. What made matters worse is that he did not know why. Currently he was of two minds, one side being thankful that he was home and alive. The other side was quite upset that the El T had to see him in this state.

"Welcome back to the land of the living, Sergeant." Hermia said.

"Well done all three of you. I will let you tend to your patient now. Good work Dr O'Rourke." Angela said with a smile just before the hologram dissipated from whence it came.

Neil felt drained. It had been a long day and the past few minutes reminded him of the rush coming out of a fire fight. As the medical staff orbited his Marine, he watched for a minute then stepped up to the bio-bed side. "Sergeant Flarn, good to see you back with us. Once you're through lolly gaging, return to duty." He gave Flarns shoulder a comradely thump and turned to O'Rourke.

"Thank you Doctor, and sorry if my mouth got away from me before. I have some things to attend to, but please update me on his condition as things progress."

"Will do, El t." Hermia said.

As Tremble headed for the door he could hear a raspy voice that was preceeded by a small snort. "Sir, Yes Sir!" Flarn managed to rasp.

A Joint Post By

Second Lieutenant Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Hermia O'Rourke
Assistant Chief Medical Officer, USS Pioneer

Staff Sergeant Flarn
Rifle Fire Team 1 Leader, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Angela Abernathy
Chief Medical Officer, Empok Nor

EMH Mark V, USS Pioneer


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