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Alarm Clocks...

Posted on Wed Jul 12th, 2017 @ 12:57am by Lieutenant Kyra Blythe & Lieutenant Commander Elizabeth Cherenzhenko
Edited on on Tue Sep 26th, 2017 @ 1:31am

Mission: CH 3: Visit To A Small Planet
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: MD 1, Time 2200

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Dream state
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The ‘flashback’ happened again, and this time Lily was certain that she was lying flat looking up at Kyra. But it didn’t feel like a hallucination, it felt real; she could feel the floor beneath her body, feel the Chief’s hands touch her.....but she remained paralyzed, unable to react or respond at all. As soon as it came it was gone once more and Cherenzhenko bent to one knee in the hallway breathing hard. She ignored the call for the senior staff to come to the Bridge....

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Sickbay
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Kyra adjusted the harmonics again as the telepathic waves started to shift ever so slightly. Nimble fingers darted over the stimulator controls again, and she pressed the charge button, repeating the process. Before she hit the activate button, she went through and found the frequency she needed to modulate to in order to create a biologically powered dampening field against the telepathic waves. Setting the inhibitor on the tricorder, she typed the commands into the PADD to have the tricorder program the inhibitor. It beeped, and she replaced it back on the doctor’s neck. She then inhaled sharply as she pressed the button. Both her hands went to the doctor’s temples to soothe her when she woke. The woman’s eyes flashed opened and stayed open this time. The PADD was sending signals to the inhibitor and the stimulator to adjust on the fly for the changes in the harmonics.

How she woke silently instead of screaming (as she last recalled doing just that in the hallway) was unclear but while her voice was muted, that by no means meant that Lily’s mind and body were quiet. Her arms jerked up, stopped by Kyra’s forearms because the engineer’s hands were at either side of her head, and her heart was racing.

“It’s okay… but you’re going to have one hell of a headache. Might get some ringing in your ears. Don’t move too much. I got to make sure the connection is stable.”

What connection!? What the hell was happening?! Oh LORD. Lily’s left hand shook slightly as she moved it over Kyra’s until her fingers found the source of the throbbing. She fingered a 1 maybe 2 inch laceration above her eyebrow. Huh. Taking another moment to just feel, she let herself absorb her surroundings. She was in Sickbay, laid out on her back, and Red Alert was flashing through the bay. Everything was ominously quiet. She took a slow deep breath in and out and felt some of her muscles relax a degree.

After securing her arms and the doctor settled down, Kyra moved to working on the PADD making sure that pulling her from the telepathically induced REM state had adjusted and all negating harmonics were properly working. “Okay, I think we are good.” She turned and looked down at her. “Sorry for the headache.” She had one herself. “You can sit but be careful.”

“Yeah, that I don’t need to be told,” Lily quipped, her voice feeling rough, like it hadn’t been used in a little while. Throwing pride out the airlock the doctor let the Chief slide an arm under her back to help her upright and then lean her back against the wall next to the door. She bent a knee and rested a forearm on it, trying to get her bearings. She looked about the bay - her staff were in various places, looking as though they’d just dropped where they’d been standing, and patients on beds were unmoving.

“What’s happened?” she asked turning her eyes back to Kyra and a slight panic rising in the deep of her chest.

“I’m still trying to piece that together.” Kyra looked at her. She understood the confusion. Her mind had degraded on her in the dream state to the point that she thought that she had been legit losing it. Apparently it was her own internal defenses. “Best I can tell, the ship got hit with an EMP and at the same time, we all went down for the count. Woke up in an apparent shared subconscious dream state being sustained by telepathy. I don’t know much about that, but enough to knock the entire ship out…” She left her thought trail off as she felt the tug weigh on her mind and come back again. Pain shot from within and the tug disappeared. The PADD chirped and had adjusted.

Dream state being sustained by telepathy...Lily’s eyebrows knit as she tried to get her scrambled thoughts to coalesce. “What’s the status of the ship?” she asked, almost afraid to know.

“Everything on the ship is dead except backup systems. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into and had thought that maybe it was a medically induced coma or something airborne that would have affected the entire crew. I was wrong in that assessment. I have no idea how to stop whatever is going on and where it is coming from. I did start the process in waking up the ship itself and primary systems should be turning on soon. As for lights… well, we get emergency flashing red lights that make headaches worse while we wait for power to restore. Computer core was the only thing protected from the EMP…Surprisingly it wasn’t the kind that kills power systems permanently. I think we have a sink somewhere that is draining our power. Can’t confirm it yet.”

Cherenzhenko nodded that she understood the situation as it stood at this moment. And then she felt the device at her temple. “That deep of a state of REM, I’m assuming you flooded me with seratonin along with disrupting my own delta waves...”

There was a singular nod in response.

“And the inhibitor is blocking the signals from whatever, or whomever, is projecting the dreaming?”

Another nod.

Lily nodded back. She held out a hand to have the Chief help her stand and she leaned against the doorframe for a moment with her eyes closed. Damn but her head hurt, she couldn’t think! First things first. She opened her eyes and went to a cart to grab a tricorder to quickly scan first Kyra then herself. Kyra was fine, but she herself had a grade 1 concussion. Minor. She put the tricorder down and then pulled a hypo filled with a mild analgesic and injected it. That’d nip the headache from the knock to the head. Ok there. That was better she thought as the fog began to clear away.

She took the tricorder again and then went to a bed to scan the officer on it. She move to another bed, scanned. Then scanned Jin who was in the middle of the floor. She stood and went to a monitor and uploaded the data.

“Look at this,” she motioned Kyra over to see the screen. “The wave patterns are exactly the same. Usually a state of REM manifests itself in similar delta patterns, but there are slight variations from individual to individual depending on what kind of dream each person is having. There’s absolutely no margin of discrepancy between these three. They’re sharing the same dream.” She paused and chewed on her lower lip, then after a moment looked back up to Kyra.

“In 2374 Voyager encountered an unnamed telepathic species that projected themselves into the crews’ dreams, eventually pulling them all into what Chakotay called a ‘communal dream’ that none of them could wake from. He was able to do something called lucid dreaming to keep himself aware that he was dreaming and with the Doctor’s help they discovered that these aliens had a device creating a massive and powerful neurogenic field that was responsible for the dreaming. They used it as a defense mechanism to keep newcomers away from their world. Destroying that was finally what allowed the crew to wake. Is it possible the Equinox has encountered another faction of this same species, or some other species that can do the same thing?” she postulated. “Do our sensors work, can we scan for some kind of external field like this?”

She nodded as she got the headache relief. Relief started cascading throughout her brain. The tug was still there but the fog was not. “As to the communal dream, I discovered that as well. Everyone has the same frequency for their REM sleep. As for sensors...not yet. I’ve got the ship starting to reboot, but that takes time. I was hopefully that it was like a sleeping agent,” Kyra stated as she leaned against the door frame looking at the sleeping people when the lights flashed. “I may be good with devices...I’m not all that great with the differences between our species. Communicators are dead. I’ll have to recharge everything.” She sighed as she rubbed the back of her neck again. “Until then...we’re still dead in the water. We’re on emergency power. I don’t even know if we are venting. The computer was able to give me a little bit, but nothing that we can really go on at this time. The tricorder you have with the PADD is sending signals that are adjusting the frequency in your inhibitor. If you don’t go too far, you should be able to stay awake. If we encountered this species you are talking about,” she said crossing her arms and pointing at her, talking with her hand, “how close do these aliens need to be to create their field?”

Lily rested the heels of her hands on the edges of the terminal and bent her head momentarily as she tried to recall.

“If memory serves, the moon or planet, whatever it was where Chakotay eventually found the cavern of those aliens wasn’t more than an hour or so’s travel, if even that far. They had to be relatively close to project, but the machine in the cavern helped boost their neurogenic field’s reach and scope, which was why it affected the entire crew from such a distance. If our sensors were working we could detect a field like this, and using the data from Voyager’s experience, create an opposing field to counteract it or at least block it. But without sensors.....” she shook her head. Was there another way to wake the crew en masse and then keep them awake? The Doctor’s attempts hadn’t worked so well on Voyager. But then, that was the first time that species had been encountered and now the Equinox had all of Voyager’s computer logs, and the data they’d gathered from those aliens and their technology was vast. Certainly she could come up with something from that pool of information that would help them now.

She looked back at Kyra. “Assuming I can come up with a neurogenic field of my own that would counter the effects from whomever is doing this to the Equinox, is there any way that we could utilize the deflector but invert its output? Could we .....” she waved a hand to come up with the best wording, “...turn it inside out, so to speak, so that what it generates washes through the ship? Saturating the ship from the inside out would guarantee that every crewmember is touched, versus the deflector just projecting a ‘bubble’ around the ship’s exterior.”

The engineer rested her head on her hand as she thought about what the doctor was proposing. “It could work. We could also use the structural integrity field and the emergency force fields, that should be able to do it too. It’ll take a lot of power to ‘wash’ the ship so to speak - something we are lacking at the moment. I’ll make sensors a priority then before anything else. We don’t have too many working tricorders and PADDs that can do what we need them to do right now. I can take what medical ones you have and bring them to the computer core to charge up. Then we can use those on the other crew members in the meantime until I can get things powered back up.”

“Waking the crew one at a time would take more power than we have,” Lily remarked, and she meant manpower as much as ship power. “And if we ARE being affected by an individual or a group of this telepathic species, we can’t risk tipping our hand by selectively reanimating senior staff - they’ll get suspicious and then we run the risk of them hitting the ship again and everything you’ve just done will have been for nothing.”

Kyra sighed quite heavily. “I still need to find where our power is draining to. That’s going to be the biggest issue considering that this ship is huge and my implant is only good for a floor above, below, and maybe two walls in front of me, unless I could somehow tag the power conduits to see which was pulling power… would mean that I would need to somehow inject an indicator into the plasma, but it would be slow and tedious; just like searching manually,” she laughed lightly. “We’re screwed…”

Cherenzhenko smiled wanly. “We’ve been ‘screwed’ before and we’re still here,” she murmured, not sure if that was a reassuring sentiment or not. She straightened and put a hand on Kyra’s shoulder. “Let’s just concentrate on what we can do here, now. Focus on getting sensors and main power back and think ‘big picture’ later; we gotta crawl before we walk. I’ll work on figuring out how to counter whatever it is keeping the crew in REM. Then we can reconvene and discuss how to implement it with the deflector if we can.”

“Being screwed is an understatement,” the scoffed replay came. “I think with communications being offline, and power offline that we should stick together, at least until I can get comms working. You being in the computer core will allow you working consoles to work on. Here, here, I don’t know what is all working and not working. My general rule of thumb is that everything is dead and on minimal power and needs restoration. Did you want to do a quick once over on everyone to make sure they are okay before leaving Sickbay?”

“I’ll take care of them then we’ll head to the core,” Lily said with a nod. She moved to a person on the nearest bed and scanned them. She frowned. Nitrates were high, sodium was low, electrolytes were out of balance. “He’s dehydrated,” she said. “Which means we’ve been like this for over 18 hours at least. Too much longer and the crew’s going go start having biological problems.” She looked back to Kyra. “As long as you can be near a working terminal and I stay in either the labs or the core, we can send internal text communications to one another until you get full communications working again. We don’t have time to split our forces. Or rather,” she looked around Sickbay, “ they don’t have time for us to split our forces.”

“Your bio-monitors and a few other things in Sickbay are working because they were offline or had a secondary power source that kicked in after the first one died. Problem is, the rest of the ship is dead or on minimal power, like life support. We got air, just not the best quality. I don’t know if my little jury-rig of a system is going to keep you out of that dream state. Last thing I need is for you to go back under.” The engineer rubbed her face across her cheekbone tiredly. There was just too much that needed attention and not enough manpower or time in the day to get it all done.

“Good point,” Lily muttered with a huff and while rubbing her eyes with thumb and forefinger. After a moment she sighed and nodded. “Okay. We keep together at least until I can configure the countering neurogenic field,” she said. “After that it won’t matter if I’m forced to nod off again; you’ll already have the information you’ll need to project that field with the deflector and wash the ship with it, which will wake everyone else anyway, including myself should I be under again.” She gave a wan smile as she added, “Let’s get to work.”

 

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