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Dissociation

Posted on Tue Apr 16th, 2019 @ 8:32pm by Commander Temerant Bast & Lieutenant Joshua Miller M.D.

Mission: Route to Raeya
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: MD3 - 0500 Hours

The Sickbay doors parted open and Commander Bast walked in. Four hours from the start of his shift, the ship's Executive Officer was in casual clothes. He spotted the new Chief Medical Officer standing at a nearby console, and approached him.

"Doctor," said Bast, just as a wave of dizziness caught him. He reached out and placed a hand on the console to steady himself.

Josh reached out to help steady the Trill. "Woah." He wrapped an arm around the man's waist to help support him on the walk from the console to the nearest biobed. "How long have you been having dizzy spells?" Josh asked as he helped the Trill to sit on the biobed.

"It started when I got up this morning," replied Bast. "At first I thought it was just exhaustion - the past three weeks haven't exactly been easy. But it's getting worse. And it seems like I'm getting lek'varan." Upon seeing the doctor's blank expression. Bast elaborated. "Joined Trill can't usually tell the Host's thoughts apart from the symbiont's. Unlike for memories, which we know originated from a previous host. But after Joining, the Host's thoughts are merged with the symbiont's, and we think as one. Lek'varan means that the thoughts of the two are dissociated."

Joshua's brow furrowed as he walked to a nearby equipment tray. "Could be indicative of a dip in your isoboramine levels." He mused as he picked up a tricorder. Isoboramine was the neurotransmitter in Trill that regulated the connection between host and symbiont. Lowered levels of isoboramine would certainly explain the Trill's symptoms. "Can you think of anything that's happened recently that might have caused a dip in your levels?"

"You mean other than being trapped alone on the ship for 10 days, fighting off a crew of Orion pirates, and working 16 hours a day for the past eight days to oversee the refit? Not much," he said.

The new CMO remained silent for a moment before saying, "So, stress, overwork and lack of sleep. Can't imagine how any of that would affect you." Josh added a wry smile. "Each of those individually wouldn't cause a noticeable dip in your isoboramine levels, not enough to cause what you've described anyway. Combined, then I'd say it's a good bet that you've identified the cause of the problem."

The tricorder confirmed his suspicion. "Looks like your levels are down to seventy one percent. I can give you a dose of isoboramine to bring your levels back up but I'd rather do it in several smaller doses over the course of today."

Bast nodded. "I did hear there was a minor outbreak of Thelusian flu on Providence Station, I thought it might have something to do with this," he said. "I was in... rather close contact with a particularly stunning redhead who works in their Science department, last week."

Josh deactivated the tricorder and set it to one side. "The scans don't show any sign of the flu but at an early stage only a blood test would confirm that. Along with your dose of isoboramine, I'll give you something that, if you have contracted the Thelusian flu, should prevent it from manifesting and clear the underlying infection."

Leaving the Trill alone for a minute, Josh moved through his office to the medical lab on the other side. There he retrieved a dose of isoboramine and the Thelusian flu treatment. When he returned he said, "I want you to reduce your workload a little and start getting more sleep." He loaded a hypospray with the isoboramine. "I know that's not easy for the ships Executive Officer but I'd still like you to try." Pressing the hypo against the Commander's neck, Josh activated the device, forcing the isoboramine into the Trill's system.

"I will certainly try," said Bast. The sensations of lek'varan were anything but pleasant. "But yes, it's much easier said than done."

Joshua offered a warm smile as he injected the flu treatment. "That you try is all I can ask." He set the hypospray down and picked up the tricorder again. After studying the readout for a moment he announced, "Your isoboramine levels are on the rise. Hopefully over the course of the day as the next two injections bring your levels back to normal that this sense of," he struggled to remember what the Commander had called it before settling for another term, "dissociation will decrease. If you call back in four hours, and four hours after that then you should be back to normal."

Bast nodded. "I guess this isn't the best time for my physical then," he said. "As XO I should be setting the example for the crew."

The smile on Joshua's face widened. "Every time I arrive at a new assignment, there's a rash of people coming in for physicals. Sometimes I think people come in for one just to check out the new guy." He returned the tricorder and hypospray back to the nearby equipment tray. "Lie down and I'll begin my scans."

"We're a new ship, and a new crew," pointed out Bast. "Isn't it standard procedure for the ship's CMO to get baseline physiological readings of the crew?"

Before lying down on the biobed he tugged at his tunic. "Should I get undressed?" he asked. He knew that some doctors preferred being able to perform a visual examination.

"I already know how far down the spots go," Josh replied with a cheeky smile, "you can keep your clothes on."

"Was your interest in Trill spots professional or personal?" asked Temerant as he lay down on the biobed.

Josh chuckled. "First time I saw how far down they went was professional. Since then it's been a mix of personal and professional." He entered a command on the biobed's control panel to activate the inbuilt sensors.

"Just don't tell anyone," said Bast. "We like to keep a certain aura of mystery around our spots."

Doctor Miller moved towards the computer console where the biobed's sensor readout was being displayed. "My lips are sealed." He went quiet, studying the Commander's medical scans. After a few minutes he asked, "Anything else you need to tell me about, anything other than what we've already discussed?"

"I don't think so," said Bast.

Miller nodded and returned focus to the scans for another few minutes. There was nothing out of the ordinary, other than the lower isoboramine levels. He reached out and deactivated the biobed's scanners. "Everything looks good to me. I'll compare these scans to your last physical and let you know if I come up with anything." Picking up a different hypospray, one designed for drawing blood, he announced, "I just want to take a blood sample and run the standard series of tests on it."

Bast rolled up his sleeve. "It's been a while since I've seen one of those," he said. "I didn't know doctors still used actual blood tests."

"I find that scanners are only so good. Sometimes you can't beat a good old fashioned blood test." Josh pressed the hypo firmly against the Commander's arm for a few seconds, drawing a sample of Trill blood. He removed the vial from the hypospray and placed it into a rack. "I think that's everything. Unless you have any further questions?"

Bast rose to a sitting position on the biobed slowly, to avoid another dizzy spell. "How's everything in your department? I know your predecessor was only just starting to have Sickbay systems reconfigured in the refit, but have you been able to sort everything out?"

"We're getting there." Miller replied. "The yard engineers and our own engineers have been incredibly helpful in getting the medical facilites upgraded and reconfigured. Not to mention my own staff. They've been working their asses off to make sure that we get done on time."

Bast nodded. "That's good," he said. "I'm almost afraid to ask, but... Have you tested the EMH yet?"

"Yes, sir." Josh replied with a chuckle. "I can report that his personality is as sparkling as ever."

"I know, not a lot of people like being treated by a lightbulb. But i a crisis, he might be invaluable."

Joshua nodded in agreement. "Oh I've found them to be absolutely indispensable in a tight spot. And when you're in the heat of the moment, you don't care about their personalities."

"Absolutely," agreed Bast. He stood. "Thanks Doc. I'll see you in four hours."

Josh ducked into his office and grabbed something out of a jar on his desk. Standing in the doorway with a smile on his face he said, "Commander, see the Doctor," he gently threw a lollipop in the XO's direction, "get a lollipop." It was an old tradition from his parents medical practice that regardless of age, patients were given a lollipop when they left. Josh had continued that tradition in his Starfleet career, much to the bemusement of many.

Bast looked at the treat in his hand with a furrowed brow. "What a strange custom," he said. Nevertheless he unwrapped the piece of candy and popped it into his mouth, only to take it out three seconds later. "Gods, this is too sweet!" he said with a grimace.

"I guess I have a sweeter tooth than you do." He noted. "I'll see if I can rustle up some sugar free candies for future visits." With a nod he added, "I'll see you back here for injection number two. Have a good day, sir."

"Same to you, Doctor. I'll see you later."

Bast walked out of Sickbay, pausing once at the door to steady himself as another wave of dizziness washed over him.

 

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