Into the Hot Zone
Posted on Mon Jun 1st, 2020 @ 5:17am by Captain Henry Crow & Commander Edra Crow & Commander Vox Templar & Commander Brielle Jayde & Lieutenant Commander Caressa Melanick & Lieutenant Edruj Daughter of Thrawn & Lieutenant JG Vex Aldrin
To The Rescue
The capital city of Torman was buzzing with activity as the supplies which the Mercutio had brought were transported to the surface for dispersal across the world. But as per usual it was not going to be that easy.
"Captain I know what I ask of you is not an easy decision."
"You're asking me to turn our ship into a medical vessel and take on people infected by a highly deadly virus."
"Your medical expertise could help us find a cure."
"I will take it under advisement." Henry could see another subspace call was coming in from the Fleet. "I'll be in touch."
He hit the button. "Dan...."
"They need our help Henry."
"I don't want to put my people in this spot."
"I understand which is why it will be a controlled study. No more than a dozen patients."
"Is this an order?"
"The last time I did you a favor a lot of people got hurt."
"This will be completely different."
"That's what you said then too." Henry closed the channel and pressed the shipwide communication button. "Senior Staff to the Conference Room in ten minutes."
10 minutes later....
(Add your entrances )
Edra entered the conference room, reading the PADD with the update Henry had sent her in one hand, and a mug of Raktajino in the other. She took her usual seat, moving the PADD to the table, and enveloping the mug in both hands. Henry had wanted to brief her personally, but she had been busy with prep, so she was catching up now to help with the wider-spread briefing.
Edruj jogged to the conference room. She quickly got her long hair pulled back into regulation as she did so. Her hair was a little unruly as she had beed spending most of her time in the lab trying to figure this virus out. "Reporting as ordered sir..." She said as she took her seat. She looked down and hurriedly raised the zipper on her uniform jacket, she had forgotten it was down. "...Sorry sir."
Brielle slipped in and noticed not many were there. She wasn't fully sure what was going on, but if there was a senior staff meeting being called, she knew she had to be there. Finding her seat, she sat and waited.
Vex scurried in and found a seat near the back but close enough to be able to hear. Running a hand through his hair Vex took a breath and looked around the room trying to remember names to faces.
Caressa entered last. She was well put together considering she was up half the night researching. "Sorry I am late." She spun the chair and then took a seat.
Commander Templar stepped into the conference lounge and made his way calmly over to the seat next to Commander Jayde and promptly sat down, sipping the hot coffee he brought with him. His interest was piqued due to the rumor that this would be an unusual mission.
(keep adding arrivals above!)
Once everyone had arrived Henry cut to the chase. "We've been asked to take on a dozen or so cases to test possible cures. So we'll use our newly emptied cargo hold into emergency triage. I leave that up to the Medical department about what you need but Engineering and Security are at your full disposal. I know your priority is the patients but the overall scope is this ship's safety. Full bio screens, force fields, anything we need to keep everyone outside that cargo bay healthy and safe.
"I'll open the floor here with the caveat that as I'm sure you can tell from my tone this was not my idea. "
Brielle leaned back. "So, a cargo hold full of about a dozen sick people. No known cure and we have to try to help figure one out. Oh, and all of this is just thrown at us without really any choice? Where do you want me?"
"First thing we could do is set up a containment field inside the cargo bay, maybe even create smaller fields around each bed as they become occupied," Edra suggested.
Edruj cut in without waiting on pleasantries. "Sir, forcefields alone will not cut it. We are going to have to design and construct an independent environmental system for the Cargo Bay. If we leave the Bay attached to the ship's environmental controls then there is a risk of the virus getting into the ship's systems and infecting us all."
Edra nodded, looking back to the new engineer. "Is that something you could work on, Mr. Aldrin?"
Vex glanced up from his PADD, typing away information for later. "I think I could work something around to make sure it doesn't get into the ships systems, it could take a bit of testing before I would be comfortable even putting it against what is going on." Vex looked up fully and smiled slightly trying to ease the mood.
"I agree with you all, especially with the separate environmental controls. We do not need this getting out." Caressa looked to Henry. "Are you sure we would not do the ship a better service and put boots on the ground instead of bringing whatever it is on board? I will also need more man power. I am going to tag anyone with medical training to help in sickbay. Chance will run sickbay for ship illness and emergencies unrelated to the contagion. I will head the contagion team. I will ask for volunteers first."
Henry looked unsure. "I thought about sending you down there but then you're exposed to an entire planet instead of just twelve individuals."
Edra was looking at her PADD as she spoke up, with a potentially unpopular idea. "Another way to keep this isolated from the entire ship is to quarantine those working with the sick." She took a breath. "I don't mean with the patients, but with a little shuffling, we can have those working with the illness assigned some temporary quarters near the cargo bay. It would be the medical personnel, of course, but perhaps a few security officers as well, in case anything gets out of hand. We could put a fire break of sorts around these areas and prevent anyone from crossing into the other areas until this is over." It was a lot to ask, but she looked to Henry to see what he'd say.
He didn't like it but it didn't mean she was wrong. The idea of Chance and her, he knew she'd be drawn in, didn't sit well. "What about using the transporters to act as a filter? Can it filter any pathogens?"
"Without knowing exactly what we're getting into? I doubt it. We're going to want to keep the area, people... and the crew working down there, isolated until we figure it out." Brie didn't like the idea any more than anyone else, but it seemed necessary to her.
"What about the EMH? It can duplicate itself to serve multiple patients and can't get sick."
"Ill volunteer to be down there.. I mean I'll need access to that area anyways to set up the field.. Might be easier with me there so I can monitor it and fix it in case something goes wrong.." Vex spoke up and glanced around the room.
Templar stroked his chin momentarily before speaking up. "I disagree with bringing them aboard. They are putting the entire ship at risk. Why can't the infected be quarantined inside a facility on the planet and have the medical teams work with the local government?"
"They feel we have a better chance to find a cure with our facilities."
Edruj agreed with Vox and as he and the Captain spoke an idea came to her, a compromise of sorts. "It would be possible to quarentine the infected in a building on the planet and work with the local government as Commander Templar suggests. We can still use our facilities by simply transporting the samples aboard in stasis fields. Our medical personnel can take the samples out of stasis as needed. That would present minimal risk to the crew at large. The risk would only be to the medical staff and anyone working with them."
Her plan would take a lot of communication and synchronization. However, Edruj thought it to be the best way to get everyone what they wanted and to cure this thing before it got any worse.
Brielle listened but glanced at the Captain. "I take it that option was discussed already based on what you said?"
Henry looked to Brie. "Technically....no. It was never discussed, or dismissed. Okay, so new plan..."
Edra nodded in agreement. That could work, and there was less chance for contamination with fewer infected on board.
He spent the next several minutes detailing the need for Engineering to construct a secure, sterile, and comfortable habitat for a dozen patients to be built on the planet's surface.
Medical would do the lab work in Sickbay which was already built for the need to keep the rest of the ship safe and would transport directly down to the habitat when needed to treat patients or collect samples.
"The Security officers stationed down there will need proper safety equipment but I also want them to go through complete decontamination protocols and test negative before they're among general crew again. Any ideas or objections?"
Caressa spoke up again, restating her former concern. "I have issue with teams coming back and forth for after contact. We need to observe and treat 24/7 if we want to get ahead of this. Transporting back and forth increases the chance and potential to bring it onboard. Are we sure the bio-filters can handle it? Or do we even know? The lab work and such might be able to be decontaminated, but we risk it getting on board if something goes wrong. One slip, and into the air it goes. I think everything needs to be handled on the surface. I do not want to put my children at risk. We risk our lives on every away mission. This is no different. There needs to be two teams. One on the surface, one here, have some people in reserve. We can build a habitat for the staff below for living. I just want you to know my concern." Her voice was resolute. "Whatever your decision is what we will go with, but please just keep everything in mind." She glanced over at him with her big blue eyes, shooting him the "you know I'm right look".
The CMO made good points, and Edra couldn't answer them all at the moment. She couldn't even get a suggestion in before Henry spoke.
"It's a good question about the filters." He turned to Science and Engineering for the answer.
Caressa smiled to herself, she loved being right.
Brielle waited until the question from Caressa and Henry was answered. She did wonder if she was doing security detail or if there was some other thing for her to do with this.
"Perhaps the first objective," Edra piped up, "should be to identify the contagion so that the biofilters will recognize it. We can even have a 2-step re-entering process for coming back on board. The transporter filters, then a medical check inside a biofield. Once the computer recognizes the virus, it should remain in the databanks. We could program it to recognize slight mutations as well." She looked to Caressa to see what the other woman thought.
"I agree with that, if we could identify it, I am sure I can come up with a way for the filters in the transporter to recognize it on a body." Vex pipped up in between everyone.
"An added safety measure is previous transporter patterns. Anyone who beams down will have their pattern compared with a previous pattern at the molecular level upon their return. This will quickly identify any anomalies and they can be quarantined accordingly." Edruj added to the XO's suggestion.
Templar arched an eyebrow as he mulled over the different suggestions being brought up as he sipped his coffee. "Since this is an unknown pathogen, spending time to attempt to mitigate the risks with the pattern buffer and filters will take precious time away from starting this operation and will quite possibly leave the ship still at a greater risk of contamination. Why don't we skip the risks with the transporter for specimen testing and use shuttles for that specific purpose? We could have security and engineering create a secure, isolated walking route from deck twelve to a dedicated turbolift and do another secure route on deck four to sickbay. Medical personnel could walk the samples from the shuttle bay to sickbay in biohazard suits and utilizing secure containment vessels." He paused a moment to take another sip before continuing, "We can still use the transporter to beam up and down any personnel and supplies we require for the away teams."
"If we are going to allow personnel to come to and from the surface. Can we at least keep those personnel on a separate deck away from other personnel? Just basic risk mitigation. I agree with Vox on the pattern buffer and filter, to much time for the process." She was pursuing the new data was just sent to her on the current infection rates and morbidity. " These new numbers solidify Vox's concerns. Look at these new numbers"
Caressa hit a few numbers on the pad bringing up the information on the big screen.
"I think at this point we need a step-by-step game plan...we can look at numbers all day but...unless we know what we're gonna do, the numbers won't help us." Brie was a bit out of her element here. She understood medical, sure, but some of this was above her head.
There were a lot of ideas on the table and even Henry was trying to keep up. "Okay, I think we all agree we put the health and well being of this ship at the top of the list. They want us to lend our expertise to the situation by treating a sample group of patients. Of everything that has been discussed what is the path that keeps this ship the safest while following our orders?"
Edra looked to Caressa to answer that. It was, after all, her Sickbay.
If its my call, A team of 6 on the surface. We evaluate the 12 patients in a secure environment that our engineers created. All samples will be ran on the surface with a interface that links to the ship. The team of four will remain in complete bio-suits while on the surface. They will only return when we have completed scans and have all the samples that are needed, and uploaded to the base on the surface. We also need to obtain environmental samples also. Covering all the bases seems prudent. Contact tracing of the 12, so we can try and locate patient zero. When we return it will be to Cargo bay 1. Total decontamination prior to exiting the bio-suits, and decon after also. I do not think we can be to careful. So that is a team of 4 from medical, one security person and one engineer Caressa took a moment to look up from her padd, smiled. Suggestions? Additions?
"And...where am I in all of this?" Brielle finally let her question out, because she was curious of the answer.
Edra liked Melanick's plan, and nodded her confirmation. But Brie's question was a god one. "You can take the Security post with the Away Team, or send someone down there, and remain on the bridge. Up to you."
Biting her lip, Brie really didn't want to be on the away team, but at the same time, who else would really be there to head the security. "As long as someone can watch the kids...I'll do the security post.
Henry eyed the room looking for any before he looked to Caressa. "Alright let's do it then. Assemble your team and whatever you guys need is at your disposal."
The group broke up and there was plenty of work to do.
Captain Henry Crow
Commanding Officer, USS Mercutio
Commander Edra Crow
Executive Officer, USS Mercutio
Lieutenant Commander Brielle Jayde
Second Officer, USS Mercutio
Lieutenant JG Vex Aldrin
Engineering Officer, USS Mercutio
Lieutenant Commander Caressa Melanick
Chief Medical Officer, USS Mercutio
Chief Science Officer, USS Mercutio
Commander Vox Templar
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Mercutio