USS Cygnus

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The Dying

Posted on 26 May 2023 @ 1:10pm by Captain Bane Plase
Edited on on 26 May 2023 @ 1:28pm

Mission: Outbreak

Location: City Ahnwah, 600 kilometers northeast of the Away Team


Drakmak had no knowledge of the aliens that had landed a week ago in the Capital City. He had no knowledge of the planned televised event that was happening later this afternoon after the days work period was complete. He had no knowledge of the colossal ship that was in orbit with more than two dozen species represented aboard her. He had no knowledge of the Federation, or any intelligent life anywhere in the universe other than on his planet.

Nor did he have knowledge of the deadly and quickly mutating virus that these small aliens had unwittingly brought with them.

It started with a tickle in the back of his throat. A tiny cough that started only this morning just after he had arrived to work and started his labor for the day. By midday meal, he was coughing persistently, and had begun to sneeze violently. "Its probably allergies," one of his friends had said. Drakmak had nodded in agreement; the allergy season was just about upon them. It was not unheard of that allergy season started this early in the year, and he always suffered from them.

Scarcely an hour later, he was freezing, but sweating so profusely that his clothing was soaked through. The persistent cough had graduated to severe coughing, so hard and so thorough that occasionally he was coughing up blood. The cough was a dry cough too, not like the allergy cough where sometimes phlegm would come up. They hurt every time he coughed. At one point when coughing, he felt a distinct pop, followed by searing pain, on the left side of his chest. He had broken a rib, but that would not be discovered until later that evening when he visited the hospital to be seen.

The sneezing had also gotten so bad that the blood vessels in his eyes began to burst. By the time the days labor was complete, both of the yellows of his eyes were completely black. They had been red like fresh blood at first, but as the sneezing continued, they got darker and darker red until they were black. Only the purple hue of his iris was the only color seen in his eyes. During one particularly terrible bout of sneezing, he tore a muscle in his back. He felt it rip, followed by the feeling of fire cascading down his back, ending with the warmth that felt like warm water flowing down his back. A nasty bruise of black, red, yellow and green appeared immediately on the left side of his back.

By evening meal, he couldn't even stand anymore. The dizziness he was feeling, along with the vertigo, were profound, to speak nothing of his aching muscles and joints. "I think you need to go to the hospital," his wife of nearly twenty years counselled him. He was in no condition to argue. Thinking he would go in, get checked out, get some antibiotics, and go home to rest, he was met with a scene he never thought he would see. There were more than two hundred animals, birds and lizards in the Emergency Department. Insects of all kinds, and, oddly enough, children playing with pasta noodles drenched in alcohol.

Drakmak had no knowledge that his fever had spiked almost 10 degrees from the time he and his wife had left home to when he made it to the hospital, less than a kilometer away. He had no knowledge that he was in his own personal vehicle. He had no knowledge that he was delirious, seeing things that weren't there, and speaking words that were out of order and out of place, making no sense at all.

"Another one," a nurse in the Emergency Department conducting triage asked rhetorically to his wife. "Your husband seems to have what everyone else in here has. Drakmak's wife then took a moment to look around. Sure enough, all these people (who Drakmak thought were birds, reptiles, insects and children playing with pasta noodles), were showing the same symptoms as Drakmak. Some of them appeared to be at the stage Drakmak was when he got home from the days labor. Others were far worse. Precious few were faring better. Those that were worse were bleeding from their eyes, their noses, their mouths and ears, and seemingly from random places on their skin.

"What is this," she asked the nurse, her voice shaking, concern about her husband higher than it had ever been, referring to whatever it was that was affecting her husband and the other people in triage.

"We don't know," the nurse admitted. "But we are doing everything we can. We need to get him on ice and start fluids or he is going to burn up."

As the words slipped out of her mouth, Drakmak began to convulse. His eyes rolled back into his head. His fists clinched and rolled outwards, causing his arms to bend at odd angles. His teeth clamped shut, hard, his jaw muscles clearly visible, even through his thick beard. Crunching sounds came from his mouth, and as the nurse yelled for a crash cart, she wiped away the foam flowing from his mouth, revealing that his teeth were breaking from the powerful muscles clamping down so hard. He grunted and growled and groaned in ways that came from deeper than his throat somehow. A putrid smell permeated the triage room, Drakmaks wife realizing that he had defecated all over himself. Spots of blood began to soak through his clothes. His heart rate and blood pressure bottomed out. The machines monitoring his lifesigns began to blare and beep and squawk and squeal. The nurse was yelling. The medical assistants were pulling medical instruments, bandages and devices out of their packaging, the paper and plastic flying every direction. The doctors were coming into the room, barking orders, trying to stabilize Drakmak.

Drakmak moaned loudly before a gurgling sound escaped his clenched teeth. Blood, mucus, phlegm and spit found the cracks in the shattered teeth to escape, running out of the side of his mouth, down his cheek and pooling between his neck and shoulder on the medbed. He convulsed one more time, then moved no more.

Drakmak had no knowledge that he had lived his last day. He had no knowledge that he had been dying, long before delirium set in. He had no knowledge of the grief and pain that his wife felt in this moment, and in the moments that would come. He had no knowledge that she also would succumb to this new and terrible disease. He had no knowledge that he was dead. He had no knowledge of the pandemic that had been unleashed upon his world.

Six hundred kilometers southwest, and thirty-five kilometers above the surface, the Away Team and crew aboard the mighty U.S.S. Cygnus had no knowledge that they had brought a virus, harmless to humans, Bajorans and Andorians, but wildly deadly and wildly mutating to the people of Antioch III.

Soon, the Knowledge would be known.


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