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A Breath Of Fresh Water

Posted on Mon Aug 29th, 2016 @ 10:33pm by Ensign Otoha Takahashi RN & Commander Akiva ben-Avram

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Sickbay

Nurse Takahashi wasn't her normal, relaxed self. USS Vindex wasn't going to be putting into starbase anytime soon, and she needed to. Two of the crew were afflicted with medical conditions that, while under control, would be fatal if not tended to in timely manner. The problem was, they were extremely difficult to treat, at least in conventional sickbays and hospitals. Vindex had not yet met the enemy, so Otoha decided to utilize unorthodox methods. Both had successfully been utilized by colonials, but formal white paper reviews had not yet been completed by Starfleet Medical.

=/Lieutenant Akiva ben-Avram, please report to Sickbay, end of shift.\=

Akiva checked the time on his desk console. Close enough. =/"Acknowledged."\= He locked his terminal and made his way to Sickbay.

The nurse invited him for a sit down in a small conference office, "Please, this way?"

Akiva titled his head and nodded. "What's this about, Nurse?"

Taking her time, she paused a few moments before explaining. "Lieutenant, you were exposed to a rare ginnerian lung spore. As you already know, it defies conventional cure. Transporter beam filtering cannot be used because spore isotopes will disrupt lung molecules if separated. Likewise, nanite surgery has also failed to disrupt the spores without causing a similar reaction. Up until now, we've been able to keep it metabolically suppressed, but you are still at great risk."

"I see." Akiva kept his jaw steady. This surely wasn't as bad as it seemed. "What do you suggest?"

Otoha took a calming breath. "There is a way to remove the spores, but it will be... highly uncomfortable."

Akiva smirked. "Comfort was a scarce commodity on Hebron. I think I can handle your treatment."

Nurse Takahashi led Lt. Ben-Avram to a treatment room. "Please lie down."

"Very well." Akiva followed the nurse's direction.

The first indication of abnormality came when the nurse activated force-restraints. Akiva could no longer move.

"Are these quite necessary?" Akiva grunted between words.

The nurse strapped a mouth/nose breathing mask onto his head that was connected to a long tube. She then pulled a bio-infuser down from the ceiling medical array. "This will keep your blood properly oxygenated and remove excess carbon dioxide." Otoha sighed, drawing near to speak face-to-face. "The spores have the same vulnerability as humans. They require oxygen to survive. They do not draw from your blood like cells of your own body do. They require the same air that you breathe. In order to kill them, I need to flood your lungs with de-oxygenated water in order to drown them." She didn't wait for a response. With a flip of the switch, his breathing mask began filling with water.

Once the Dragon Nurse's words had sunk in, Akiva began to have second thoughts about this procedure. His eyes shot wide, straining his facial muscles while his waterlogged lungs began to sink down in his chest. His throat gurgled against the pressurized water pouring back out of his larynx and through his sinuses. Were it not for the force-restraints, his gag reflex would've made his body seize and shake.

Neural readings finally began to settle as the drowning reflex faded. "Very good. Now, you can breathe in and out, but don't be overly forceful about it." Otoha projected holoscreens in front of his face. "I'm now injecting a counter-serum to stop suppressing the spores. They will begin to metabolize, but without oxygen they will die. Once they die, the integration with human tissue will decay. As they come loose from your lungs, you'll need to breath gently. Filters will capture the debris. This chart will give you a percentage of spores remaining. This other chart gives you feedback on your breathing. Keep your effort below this level, and you'll be fine." The nurse then projected a holographic keyboard that allowed him a means of communication.

Akiva nodded as best he could against the restraints and water hose in his mouth. He managed to type the words, "Time estimate?"

"I expect the first spores to die and detach from lung cells within the hour. The entire process? I'm not sure, maybe three or four hours. After you've filtered out all spores, then we'll get you breathing air again and follow up with a little tissue therapy. That might... also be a little uncomfortable."

"Yalla sababa," Akiva typed, rolling his eyes. After a few moments, he scanned the room from one side to the other with eyes squinted. "Not so bad now," he keyed through the holographic interface. "Bored now. Tell me a joke?"

The communication intercom beeped, =/Nurse Takahashi?\=


=/Is Lieutenant Ben-Avrim available?\=

"He isn't able to speak with you, right now."

"Not funny," Akiva typed, his face turned down into a scowl.

Otoha approached with tipped her head with raised brows and half-closed eyes, reminding him, "You did request a joke?" She checked the mask breathing bladder and filters, then sat down at a console to keep up with Sickbay affairs. Within the first half hour, diagnostic notifications glinted on her tech contact lenses. She came over to wave her hand over his face. Her tricorder ring verified the scan. "The first spores are coming loose. Just breathe very slowly and gently. This will need to be conscious effort. As long as the triox infuser is activated, your body won't feel the normal, natural impulse to breathe."

Breathing water felt completely unnatural, like sneezing in reverse. "I will try," Akiva typed.

Nurse Takahashi waited until the spore flow was fully underway and going as expected. She pointed to her glinting contact lenses, "I will keep constant watch on your progress and vital signs. I need to install and calibrate new equipment." A grin flickered, "Just sing out if you need anything."

"Leave me to die and I will return as a dybbuk to haunt you," Akiva keyed ever so slowly. His stare was deadpan.

"Die?" Otoha smiled and leaned in close for a whisper, "I wouldn't dream of letting you go so easily. We have such a wonderful future ahead of us!" On her way out, she dimmed the lights and switched on quiet elevator music, ostensibly to help pass the time.
Click here to hear music.

"Belay that. Please let me die." But nobody was there to read it.

Lt. Akiva ben-Avram
Nurse Otoha Takahashi
USS Vindex
Bravo Fleet


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