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[PLOT LOG] - Gone Camping

Posted on 11 Nov 2023 @ 8:47pm by Captain Easton Lawe

1,085 words; about a 5 minute read

Mission: Miranda

Captain Easton Lawe was not happy.

The one upside of the moment was that he had somehow remained one of the few to not fall ill, although from his conversation with his chief of medical, that would only be a matter of time unless they took some drastic steps. He had probably only avoided it because of the innate removal of a captain from his crew, though, and that in and of itself was a little sad.

His comm channel had closed just minutes before after he had been a part of a call with the Captain of the USS Montana, the Executive Officer of the USS Taweret, and the Second Officer of the USS Hallr.

The command crew of the Hallr seemed to have been the hardest hit of the four, with the captain and first officer both out of commission. The Taweret, however, had so far seen the worst of the effects. Of a complement of seventy-six, the Nova-class vessel had lost eight crew to this illness. There was something painfully ironic, Easton had thought, about a ship named after a goddess of fertility seeing the highest mortality rate.

That had been an “indoor thought,” however.

Now, there was a decision on the table. It had been made, and confirmed by Starfleet Command, but it had to be seen through. It was not one that he liked or looked forward to, but he saw the necessity of it. There wasn't much time to figure out something else. That wasn’t really what had made the Captain of the USS Odin as miserable as he was in that moment, though.

The fact that a plague had swept through his ship was bad. The fact that it had hit three other ships in the convoy was worse. The fact that it was apparently engineered and released upon these ships and crews was the worst. It made him angry. They had been attacked, and they hadn’t even known it for days. They just barely knew it at all.

It took him about ten minutes to get his temper under control. It was one of his flaws, he’d always known, but his self control was also stellar. It was something he’d been hard at work on since he was a teenager, but he was exhausted and had reached new levels of very specific sorts of stress over the past week… It weakened his control, his resolve to have any control in the first place, so he had to get that back in hand before the next step.

Once he had, he opened a ship-wide channel. Those who were near consoles would see his face, sitting at his desk. Those who weren’t by a screen would just hear his voice.

“Attention all hands,” he began, his voice taut. “I have just spoken with command team members from the Montana, the Taweret, and the Hallr. Both ships have been hit with the same illness as the Odin, facing similar results. Doctors on the Odin and Montana have recognized that this is a bioengineered contaminant. It seems that we have been attacked, to put it bluntly.

“As best we can tell, the traveling human merchant that stopped by some ships in the convoy a couple of weeks ago is where this began. Did he bring it knowingly or was he a victim as well? We don’t know. We can’t know unless we find him. Ensign Walker, you are going to be tasked with finding him. Take what information you can from our sensors about the direction his shuttle took when it left and pursue him. The other ships he visited—just these three—will send you their data as well. We need answers that he has.”

He paused there, trying to keep from sounding as vengeful as he felt. The man had been cleared and they'd welcomed him aboard as an interesting distraction. And this had happened...

Once he had that breath taken, he continued, “Doctors Martin and Warner here, I am happy to say, have identified a course of treatment that should improve symptoms and bring about recovery. This information has been sent to the other ships, and sickbay will be producing and delivering this treatment as expediently as they can, starting with the worst hit.

“Now… Here’s the difficult part.” He paused to blow out a breath. “Due to the engineered nature of this disease, we know that it’s existing outside the body far longer than any that’s naturally occurring. We also cannot predict how fast it might mutate if it’s allowed to persist and re-infect people, so we have to take drastic measures to get rid of it.

“It has been proposed and approved that all four ships will need to be flooded with Propylxide gas, which will kill off every instance of the disease where it lingers in the ship. This combined with the treatment for the crew should prevent any worst-case scenario. The issue is that Propylxide is toxic for us as much as the disease, especially in our current weakened state.

“So, we four ships are going to a nearby uninhabited planet and we’re going to… Well, folks, we’re going camping. The planet is Class-L but has a breathable atmosphere—if a little thin for most of us—and vegetation but no people and little animal life. Shelters and our emergency, portable replicator units will be coming down with us for approximately two days while the ship is flooded with the gas and then fully cleared. It will not affect any items on the ship. It would just kill us if we were still here, so we need to not be here.

“Planet Four-Five-Beta is roughly nine hours from our present position. We will divert immediately. All crew will begin treatments and everyone who is well enough must begin to make preparations. I know this is…far from ideal, but we can’t take any more risks with this disease.”

Easton paused again, and anyone who was seeing him on their console screens saw him look off-screen, although he wasn’t looking at anything in particular. “We will be alongside the crews of the other ships, so we’re going to have to play nice. It’s only for two days while the ships stay in orbit on automated helm routines.” He looked at the screen again. “We’ll make the most of it. Start getting treated, feeling better, and getting ready.”


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