USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Eye See You (ICU, medic joke. Is funny. LAUGH)

Posted on Tue Jul 11th, 2017 @ 11:13pm by Lieutenant Arkady Sjet Dr & Lieutenant JG Xiulan Song

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: MD 99

If there was one thing that Xiulan hated- come to think of it, there were a lot of things Xiulan hated, long shuttle flights being one of them, new places, epic douche-baggery... But she also hated medical check-ups, all the poking and prodding, and to make matters worse she received a notification to bring Gerri with her. What the hell did they need to see Gerri for? He hadn't come into contact with any other wildlife, unless they counted Arturo... But orders were orders, so with her cane in one hand and Gerri's travel case in the other, Xiulan followed the computer's audio prompts to lead her to Sickbay. She heard the doors slide open, then slide closed behind her as she entered the bay, and the gentle beeping tone from the computer ceased.

"You have reached your destination," the Computer informed her. Great, now to find someone who could tell her what the hell was going on.

"Hello?" Xiulan called out. Her implants were registering a number of humanoid heat signatures, but she couldn't tell from that alone who was a doctor or nurse.

A much broader blob of infrared heat appeared from an open office door. A red giant amid a constellation of yellow dwarfs, to borrow an astronomy metaphor.

"Ahhh, Lieutenant Song is correct?" The rich brogue of a Russian accent assailed her ears, though there was something of a Mariner Valley twang to the words. "Is pleasure to greet you, and to see you have brought with you animal companion. Is much good. I am Doctor Arkady Sjet, my office is this way if you would?"

He stepped beside the door and gestured with a raised arm. He read up on her implants, the technology was novel and had many useful applications. But knowing the range of someone's vision, the depth of their perception both actual and assumed was something else. A test dressed in the robes of a ceremony.

Wow, the big bear of a man was her doctor? At least he would be easy to spot in a crowd... Xiulan followed him to his office, and as he raised his arm to gesture for her to enter, she nodded and entered as intended. Though the real telling bit was once she was in his office; unable to find objects in the room through heat signatures, she tapped her white cane about to find the desk and a chair, then felt around around the top of the desk with her hand to find a clear spot to set down Gerri's case.

"So Doc, what's the deal with asking me to bring down my fire krait?" Xiulan asked as she folded her white cane and tucked it into the back of her belt.

"I am man from planet famed in lore and song for its dragons, and you wonder why I find your choice of companion agreeable bait to my curiosity?" Arkady chuckled, settling into his chair and leaning over it to admire the fire krait in its carrier. “I once saw a species of iguana on Earth who could swim the seas as a fish, feeding on plankton and algae. Life is so much more than its appearances. It perceivers, and provides for its own up keep in lieu of traditional means.”

He leaned back into his chair.

“But sometimes we must step in to offer a healing hand, no?” he smiled at Song. “Might I enquire how long you have had your fire krait? Its medical history if you will: from a clutch of eggs, to the now? And how long it has been since they were in contact with another of their kind?”

"Bait? What, did you think I wasn't going to come?" Xiulan replied with a grin as she opened the carrier to coax Gerri out so Bear Doctor could get a better look at him. "I may be tired of doctors fussing over me, but I know how this song and dance goes: I don't get to go on duty without my boarding physical." Eager to be out of his carrier, Gerri crawled out and up onto Xiulan's arm. "If you wanna pick him up, just be careful and transfer him to something covered, he can get pretty hot to the touch," she said as she held still so he could had access to the fire krait perched on his arm. If one did not know this was a living, breathing reptile, Gerri could easily pass for a clump of lava stone with his dark, rough texture.

"But as for his medical history... uh, I got him as an on Deep Space 11. A trader passing through had acquired a number of them for a client and one of them laid eggs while in transit, so he was able to make a tidy little sum on the side by selling the eggs. While waiting for the egg to hatch, the Chief Science Officer and I researched them to make sure I could give him the proper care he needed, and we observed full quarantine procedures before introducing him to the rest of my collection. I had a number of reptiles: lizards, chameleons, a snake, few stickbugs... They were all healthy with their own enclosures, but the lizards and chameleons were often free to crawl out as they wanted to so they came into contact with one another on a regular basis. Uh, let's see... As part of my assignment on DS11, I was often loaned out to other ships; I'm a linguist, so sometimes I had to go where the action is. I would leave my collection in the care of the Chief Science Officer, but Gerri required too much attention, so I would take him with me. He's never been sick, but if we encountered something that might be considered a health risk, then I would follow proper procedure and keep him quarantined when I returned to DS11 to be sure he wasn't spreading anything to the rest of my collection. He's been a pretty chill little dude; he needs a lot of time under his heat lamp, but when he's not warming he likes sitting on me while I'm working, especially on my head, I think he likes the vibrations of my headset I wear when I'm analyzing the phonetics of a language."

"That in all does make sense," Arkady said, tilting his head to one side to admire the creatures. Truly a wonderous little addition to the universe, allowing evolution to give it a suit of armour fitting for its harsh homeworld. He gently held out his hand, feeling the slight rise in temperature radiating from Gerri's scrabbly hide.

"And you have nothing to fear from me. I am, well, busy man. Were I to give every person on board all my attention, I would not have the hours to rest my eyes. Your file says you are fit for duty, and the scan you received when you boarded proved that. Your shots are up to date, and as long as we have understanding that you tell me of any problems with your implants or the headset, we will not see each other in formal settings for a long time. This is point most clear," Arkady growled.

He leant back in his chair, looking at Song thoughtfully as Gerri's balefully eye looked at him for a moment.

"Gerri, on the other hand, did show up an abnormality in his boarding scan. A small problem, easily fixed. And one I am surprised has not reared its head in your previous postings from DS-11," Arkady pursed his lips. "Gerri...has...huum? Is like fleas, but not so jumpy. Huum. Might? Mites? Ah, yes, silica mites. That is it."

"How can he have mites? He hasn't come into contact with anything new... Unless you count my Caitian boyfriend," Xiulan said with a shrug. "On that note, you should probably call in Lieutenant M'Rohass; even if he isn't the source of the mites, they can still play havoc in all that fur." Xiulan scratched Gerri affectionately along one of his head ridges and the fire krait made a pleased groan. "Well buddy, looks like you're staying here tonight," she said to Gerri, then carefully lifted him to return him to the travel case. "I'll bring his terrarium up later to make sure it's properly decontaminated. Just make sure he has a heat source to keep him warm and he shouldn't be a problem to handle. Oh, and don't be late feeding him, he gets bitey when he's hungry," she cautioned Arkady.

"A being after my own heart. And your paramor need not worry. Silca mites are more of a problem to rocks, sands, they use the minerals within to help bolster their cellular structure. provide conductive material. One of few species of microscopic organisms to travel space via cometary debris. More than likely on Gerri's homeworld a colony of mites mistook him for a rock. As the mites can remain dormant for millennia in space, they did not begin to wake until now," Arkadytapped his computer pad. "Most modern devices have some silica in them. I will be having an Operation's team visiting your quarters to see to their removal as well, in case we have not caught them early. I once saw a case on a sensor outpost during the war, the mites devoured everything that allowed modern science to work. Very nasty little things."

He stood slowly and smiled.

"Now I think I show you the xenozoology. We already have a quarantine terrarium set up there, it was holding some carnivorous plants that did not survive their transplanting. Very sad, as I was looking forward to studying their hexapedal locomotion. Is perfect for Gerri's stay whilst we remove his unwelcome guests," he held out his hands in a calming gesture "Is very painless, totally without risk. We merely bombard Gerri with doped neutrons, they slip through him like a ghost. But to mites..." Arkady's fist made a meat sound hitting his open palm.

Xiulan grinned wide; she liked this guy! She retrieved her cane and snapped it open, then picked up Gerri's case. "Lead the way," she said, then followed along as Arkady led her to the xenozoology lab. "Oh, while I'm here, uh, have tactile interfaces been installed on the terminals I'll be using?" she asked as they walked.

"Tactile and narrow band focused auditory. And I...Huum, how to ask?" he tapped his finger against his lips. "Your vision, you lost it when...? Before or after schooling? Assuredness that I am not prying, but asking reason."

"Oh, I was born blind," Xiulan replied candidly. "Nothing wrong with me genetically, just a defect due to being born prematurely. I grew up adapting just fine, and I chose not to get any visual aids until I tried to apply for Starfleet. Got the implants, went through therapy, passed my entrance exams, then at the Academy I took an arc off an overloading console and it fried the implants. They were replaced, but in the process, it was learned that my visual cortex was... ruined. I was told it might be possible to repair the damage in the future, but at the time it would have been dangerous to get too invasive. As a result of the accident, I can only process some infrared from the implants and a few other mixed signals, none of them directly visual. I've been offered a fix since then, but honestly, I've gotten used to the way it is."

"As I said before, life finds a way to meets needs when usual methods remove themselves," Arkady voice rumbled. a thoughtful note resonating in his chest. "But I hope you will not mind if I try to m ake your time here on the Vindex as easy as possible. I would be a poor doctor if I did no such thing."

They passed from the main medical facilities and entered into their associated laboratories. Xeno-fauna, xeno-zoology, though in the eyes of any member of the Federation every other person was a Xeno. As they entered the zoology lab a star of bright infrared heat slithered and scuttled across the ceiling, being chased it seemed by a human sized blob of heat carrying a pole.

"I'm sorry Dr Sjet! I had the lid open for a second, I swear!"

"It fine. Barney likes to meet new people's, land on their head and say boo. Is highlight of his day," Arkady boomed. "Now, Miss Song I want you to meet Petty Officer Mellady. Do not call her Pretty Officer, or she use broom on you as well as Barney. I know this as fact."

"I'd shake your hand Ma'am, but Barney likes to find ducts to play in. And the little bugger can give the Romulan Navy pointers on cloaking if I take my eyes off him!" Petty Officer Mellady said with a chuckle.

Xiulan grinned. "You know critters can smell fear, right?" she said to Mallady with a snicker. "It's not rocket surgery, just close off the ducts and leave out some food, he'll come down eventually. Also, if he likes being high, then you might want to elevate his enclosure; some critters like to look down on others, makes 'em feel safe. But this guy just likes being warm," she continued, indicating at the end that she was talking about Gerri by setting his case on a table.

Barney, for his part, took that moment to give the latest addition to the USS Vindex a warm welcome. The fast moving blob on the ceiling seemed to draw itself into a fierce little fireball of infrared energy and pushed off from the ceiling like a missile. Barney made an oddly wet sounding noise as he lightly impacted Xiulan, long sucker dappled tentacles coiling around one arm and across the shoulders in a best 'Mom, dad? This is my cephalopod boyfriend' pose.

"ARGH!" Arkady sounded pained, before again chuckling. "Of course! Mallady, I did not recall before that Song has an advantage over you. She can 'see' Barney. You see-, ah. Huum. Yes, Miss Song, Barney has the peculiar gift of rapidly adapting optical camouflage. In fact he can time his colour shifting to the pattern of up to five peoples optical nerves. But he cannot hide his heat!"

Mallady walked over, holding out her hands to gently tease Barney's rather curious fronds away from Songs hair.

"He's a study in non-verbal communication with a non-humanoid species. Which means he's smart enough to know rules, and smart enough to out think a non-com," she chatted brightly.

Tentacles were new, but she had raised snakes, so it wasn't that odd a sensation, but the suddenness of the attack was a bit surprising. "Camouflage, eh? Yeah, I can see how that would make things a bit more challenging," Xiulan said with a chuckle, setting her cane aside to try to untangle and remove Barney. "My chameleons could change their pigmentation to hide, but once they figured out that they couldn't fool me, they figured out if they found a warm spot on a wall or the floor, usually over an EPS line, that I would lose track of them, and then they taught Gerri to do it too, sneaky little bastards."

"Seem's you are good linguist, thinking in strange circles of mind," Arkady said, opening a large horizontal tank and holding out his hands for the now unthroned Barney. He seemed to wave goodbye to Song as he was put back into the warm water, fading a little as his body met the ambient fluid.

"Alright, buddy, in you go," Xiulan said as she carefully returned Barney to his tank. Well, at least she was making new friends, with tentacles... "I don't know about thinking in strange circles, but I've kept enough critters to figure out certain behaviors. Speaking of 'certain behaviors', I think Barney is a thief," she said as she felt around her bun which now felt loose; the hair fork which had been holding the bun in place was now missing, and touching the bun caused it to untwist and her hair to fall down. "Little punk... Try to get my hair pin back from him as some point."

"Sukin syn!" Arkady chuckled, watching as the hairpin was expertly pulled into a pile of artificial coral, its tip glinting in the water. "Suddenly I have pondering thought searching tank for missing styluses."

"Can I take Gerri?" Mallady asked, her hands gently cupping the bottom flanks of the portable carrier. A pleasant smile in her voice. "I promise our quarantine tank has a suitably anti-Barney lock. And you can visit him anytime you want during his treatment."

"Yeah, go ahead," Xiulan replied with a nod. "Just keep in mind, if anything bad happens to him, your legs will be the first of many things that I break," she added in a cold warning, then gave a big grin.

"Oh, sweetie. I don't have bones to break," Mallady chuckled and took the tank, turning in profile enough that the heat map of her body revealed a rather off humanoid body shape. No nose, but the jaw seemed to extend into a pair of chattering mandibles.

"She breaks hearts instead. Every time we get to a Starbase..." Arkady threw a hand into the air and the pair laughed the good-natured laugh of long friendship.

No bones? Well that explained a few things. "I said legs, not bones, and from what I can tell you still got legs," Xiulan said with a snicker. "But seriously though, take care of Gerri, and it was nice meeting you two" With cane once again in hand, she started retracing her steps to the door.

After a moment, Mallady leant over and chittered something.

"Da," Arkady nodded somberly. "I think she will fit in like glove."

"...I don't even speak Standard as a native, and even I know that sentence made no sense," Mallady commented.

"Go eat bug sandwich. Crunchy bugs for crunch nurse with lippy lips," Arkady smiled and turned to head back into sickbay, listening as Mallady opened the carry case and assured Gerri that if he was good, she would indeed share her bug sandwich.

Was not really bug sandwich.

Was better, perhaps, not to ask.

 

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