USS Cygnus

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Posted on 20 Sep 2023 @ 5:26pm by Lieutenant JG Raviran Dattek-Winters & Lieutenant JG Lisald Vaat

Mission: Outbreak
Location: Back on Board
Timeline: MD 6/7/10 ?


Ravi was finding it pretty pressured being here on the Antocians' planet with all this potentially fatal illness around her and the idea that it had been their crew who might have brought it and spread the virus, causing all this. She wished she could talk to Vaat. She wasn't really needing to talk medical issues to him, she just missed him and his moral support, not to mention a hug to soothe her worries. She had no excuse to leave her work for a personal call though even though she would have given a lot for the chance.

The thought had barely registered on the half Cardassian, half Bajoran healer before the familiar whine of the transporter beam alerted her, the other Cygnus crew with her, and the Antiocians also nearby, willing to help however they could, that a transport to the planet was in progress. Strangely, the Antiocians, all of them, without fail, winced at the sound the transporter beam made, some even covering their ears with clearly visible pain. From the beam materialized Lisald Vaat.

He was happy to see her, but unfortunately, he was not here on a social call, having been ordered down. It was, therefore, much to his surprise that she rushed him and enveloped him in her arms, hugging him. Blushing and laughing once with a bit of embarrasment, he then hugged her back, half burying his face in her neck and hair. He so loved the way she smelled, and it seemed to be accentuated wonderfully by the very pleasant natural perfume of the air on the planet. "It's nice to see you too, Ravi," he said at last.

"You can't know how much I had silently wished for you to be here." she muttered clinging to him just a moment or two too long. Remembering where they were, she let him go but sighed deeply with relief that he was here and with a small release of some stress from facing this nightmare alone and with the worry of the whole picture emerging and it's upcoming consequences.

"How have you been?" she said softly. Remembering that he would have no idea of what was worrying her. "Can we talk?" she asked as softly as possible.

"Uh, of course," he said back, matching the volume in which she had spoken to him. It was unusual for Ravi to exhibit such concern. He took her elbow and stepped a few paces away from her colleague. "What's up?"

"We need to talk, I don't know what to do.... I've tried to contact Elodin but I can't get through. I'm going to keep trying but I don't want to seem anything but calm to those who might hear me and I don't want to panic these people any more than they already are, but I think I might know what's caused this epidemic." She spoke urgently and rapidly and hoped he could both hear her clearly enough at this whisper volume and also that he could understand what she was trying to tell him without speaking it out loud in case they were being too closely watched or overheard.

"We have to have a reason to be talking so intensely. I think I have an idea. Let's make them think we're married, or engaged, or at least in a long-term relationship so that's why we're whispering together?" she suggested. What if I yell at you as if we'd just had a row.... a very personal row.

~If he doesn't understand what I'm trying to do and this is going to trash our relationship forever, I am going to die of a broken heart so at least I won't have time to feel guilty forever for what's happened to these poor folk on this planet.~ she thought to herself as she did a proper Prima Donna strop out of the main reception area and away to somewhere much more private.

* * * * * * *

~Where did he go? Don't tell me he didn't follow me out here?~ She looked all around the ornamental walled garden area she'd rushed into and threw herself onto a bench keeping up the fake sobbing and keeping it stoked with the anxiety she was building now about whether he would come, and whether he would understand.

Stopping her act of sobbing as she sat in the carved stone, vine covered bench and arbour that she'd chosen for secrecy so they could talk, she took a quick surreptitious look around again to see if he had followed her and hopefully played into her attempts to cover her getting him alone.

Part of her suddenly saw the irony in that and how she'd wanted to get him alone for such a long time now, but not for passing on messages and getting advice on the awful situation they were in, but originally because she just wanted so badly to be alone with him and now, if in the best case scenario he DID come, and they WERE at last alone in a beautiful romantic garden, how was she going to feel that she would have to waste that opportunity to spend that precious moment passing on the bad news about the virus their crew had probably brought here unintentionally.

"Oh Spirits" she groaned and buried her head in her arms against the back of the stone bench, cushioned naturally by the perfectly scented, soft, pale yellow flowered vines flowing down from the wall behind.

* * * * * * *

Given the fair warning, Lisald made to look like he was exasperated, and let her storm off. He gave it several moments before he followed. Once he found her, he came up in front of her. "That was a hell of a show. I'm going to have to tell Lieutenant Commander Artoo about your theatrics" he said, referring to one of the officers on the ship. "I'm sure she would love to have you in one of her productions." He smiled. Then he transitioned into business. "What did you need so badly that you had to put on that show for everyone else?"

Looking up, real tears beginning to form in her eyes, Ravi stood up and threw her arms around Lisald. "Thank you for playing along. I needed to talk where we wouldn't be overheard but without it looking suspicious that we were whispering about something so serious." she explained and pulling away from him reluctantly, she sat back down and patted the stone seat to invite him to join her.

Ravi looked around as they were about to sit, to make sure no-one had followed him for whatever reason, good or bad, and sat right up close to him, her face taut with worry.

"Vaat, I've done some biological tests down here in their lab and although it's not a patch on the one we have on the Cyg, and the advantage, if you can call it that, is that it's primitive enough NOT to dismiss the old and usually ignored 'ancient', long cured viruses. We'd never test for human flu or the like because we don't suffer from it any more. But looking at what these Antocians seem to have is virtually the same as the old viral flu's of Earth. Our Crew don't get them anymore because we've developed and succeeded to amass a kind of 'herd immunity' for so long now that we consider it a 'dead' family of viruses.

We used to vaccinate against them but nowadays we don't need to any more and don't even keep such vaccines or medicines in our everyday med kits, as we don't need to." She caught a quick breath and then continued trying to explain it, speaking quickly, quietly and with urgent tones and body language.

"These natives on this planet have nothing like it and no resistance. We might not show any infection ourselves, but we *must* be carriers." she said, clutching his hand so tightly his finger tips began to pale a little.

"Don't you see? It's us! We've brought the crisis here. We've brought these viruses amongst them."

Lisald listened intently, the worry, dread and guilt she was feeling slowly infecting him. When she was finished, every fiber in his being screamed to run around in circles, screaming at the top of his lungs, his arms flailing over his head that the sky was falling. But he was a scientist first, and needed to follow his own ethos and scientific compass.

"Ok," he said slowing, an effort to calm her (and himself) down a bit, "First thing we need to do is replicate your findings in another laboratory. We cannot, for obvious reasons, do it here. Nor can we have you part of the other experiment, to ensure that bias is not present in the experimentation. So, we will take a few more samples, and I will beam back up to the ship and get this experiment running straight away. Should your findings be accurate using this stone age equipment," he stated, waving his hand around a bit to show he meant this planet, "We will know in just a few minutes. If it is true, then we can go to Dr. Elodin, Commander Larsen and Captain Bane with our findings." He looked at her, his eyes softening and a small smile appearing on his lips. "You know, if this is the cause, you could have just saved billions of lives. That isn't something even the Captain can say he has done."

"Only the billions of lives that we're about to snuff out just by having arrived here all full of how damn clever we think we are. It was in Earth literature literally hundreds of years ago in a book and film called "The War of the Worlds" that Marshian Invaders almost wiped out humanity but were beaten back by flu and colds etc which killed them, themselves instead. This is just that the other way around. Why hasn't Starfleet looked into this before now. What were we medical students doing when we were at college if we couldn't have thought about this obvious and already conjectured scenario." she told him, blaming herself as much as any other medical scholars of her time and those before hers during the Federation's history.

"Easy, easy," he said, stepping towards her and putting his hands on her shoulders, looking into her eyes, attempting to channel some strength into her. "There is a vast difference between what happened on Earth, and even Bajor and Cardassia when our two peoples began visiting each others planets, and us today. You, and all of us, have had every reason to believe in the transporter systems to filter out any harmful virus, bacteria, fungus or prion. If this pandemic going on here on this planet is indeed because of us, based on your preliminary research, then it was something that was wholly and completely by accident. Again, we had every reason and faith to believe in our transporter system to filter these things out." He paused, looking into her eyes, and making sure she was looking back into his. When he started again, his voice was softer still. "Let's get these samples back to the ship. In the meantime, we can take additional samples to get back to the ship. You should stay here on the planet to help however you can. I'll let you know either way when I have information. Sound like a plan?"

It was not lost on Lisald that just a few months ago, he was in crisis mentally with his injuries, and she was at his side comforting him. Now here he was, comforting her. They seemed to make a damned good team.

Reassured and calmed by his presence alone but also by his words.

"Yes, the Transporter Filters......" she murmoured, taking deep breaths, looking into his amazing eyes to fill herself with all the right soothing reactions to make this seem less terrifying. "I'll stay, if you think I can help here but with such over simplified, under achieving equipment I don't really see what I can do." she sighed, resigned now and breathing much better. Suddenly she felt exhausted. ~Probably due to all this adrenalin rushing around me!~ she chided herself. ~self inflicted, as usual!~

"I'd still like to get the Commander's take on it though. I'll try again to reach him as soon as you're on your way back to the Cyg." she added, brightening a little at the prospect of getting even more help from her Boss, Dr Elodin to take her the next step on the path.

"Thank you, dearest Vaat" she said gently, leaning against his chest and resting her head on his shoulder. "I am so grateful for your steadying influence and clear head."

Resting against him just a little too long for appropriate formality but not long enough for the need inside her that she felt to be with him, Ravi lifted her head and looked up at him, raising her index finger to soft as silk, touch his lip, her eyes telling him of her longing to do more and actually kiss that lip as well as touch it.

The moment lasted two beats too long before Vaat got a little nervous and embarrassed. He stepped back, clearing his throat conspicuously. "Alright, lets get these extra samples, and I will be on my way," he said

Accepting of the fact that she's clearly been too forward, Ravi swallowed her emotions and took him back to the primitive lab she'd been having to work in, getting the samples she'd been working on and bagging everything up securely for him to take up to the Cygnus. They neither of them spoke as they performed the necessary sealing, packing for transport and then actually taking the packages away and when he was ready to go, she held on to herself tightly to be certain not to embarrass him any more as he was leaving.

When he had gone and the blue lights and ripples of the transporter had vanished away, she returned not to the lab but to her quarters and made a new attempt to speak to her boss, Dr Elodin.

This time she managed to get a communication up to the Cygnus and get put through.


A JP by

Lieutenant (jg) Lisald Vaat
Alien Archaeologist/Anthropologist
USS Cygnus


Lieutenant (jg) Raviran Dattek-Winters
ACMO - USS Cygnus


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