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Psychic Contamination

Posted on 10 May 2019 @ 2:05am by Senior Chief Petty Officer Alexander Rylan & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij
Edited on on 10 May 2019 @ 2:10am

Mission: Truth and Justice
Location: Kij’s Office, Sick Bay
Timeline: MD2 0900hrs

If there was one task universally hated by all senior staff in all of Starfleet, it was definitely writing reports. The idea that Jayla was not alone in her detestation was oddly comforting. So, as she sat with her cup of coffee, elbow deep in her daily medical report, she imagined scores of other doctors immersed in the same task, also gritting their teeth in annoyance.

Alex popped in around 0900hrs after meeting with Camilla Di Pasquale and learning that she was experiencing strange, vivid dreams. He'd asked Camilla to come to Sickbay sometime that day, and wanted the rest of the Away Team to come down, too, but he felt that adding the weight of Jayla's rank and position to the 'request' would help ensure compliance. He hit the chime on Jayla's office door.

Oh, good! A distraction. Jayla gratefully set aside her report as she called, “come in!”

"Hi," Alex said. "Fair warning, not that I'm not thrilled to see you, but we may have a problem."

“Oh dear,” replied Jayla, who had at first given Alex a huge grin when he walked into her office. “Is this going to require more coffee?”

"Maybe," Alex said. "Even if it doesn't, I'll take some. Here, I'll get it." Alex filled her cup and the one he kept in her office and fixed them each to each other's preference. He brought Jayla her mug and took a seat. "So, Lieutenant Di Pasquale experienced some very vivid, very specific nightmares last night that seem weird to me. They were some kind of a series of advertisements for items and things to do in the Gamma Quadrant, places she's never been before. I'd just write it off as nerves, but for two things. One, the whole away team was exposed to a telepath. Actually, we brought him back to the ship, so everyone has been exposed, really. The second reason is that Di Pasquale, Mackie, and Parks were all hit with a weird flash of light. I examined them at the time, and on a hunch I compared those scans to my scans of the corpses we found, particularly their eyes. I felt like there might be a connection, but I couldn't figure that out definitively. I was with them but my back was turned to the source of the flash at the time. If it affected them through their eyes, then I wouldn't have been affected. If that's the case, then I know we didn't lose any time. Anyway, if I was going to imprint some kind of subliminal messages on someone, I'd either have someone do it telepathically, or, if I had access to the technology, I'd use an optical delivery method. Hypnotize them. We didn't lose any time, but if the technology was more advanced than we have access to, the amount of time needed to plant the message might be negligible. I want the whole team to come in, not just the three who got hit with the flash of light. I want to have them interviewed and examined for signs of telepathic contact that go beyond a simple brief scan and one way communication from the guy we brought back, and I want the three hit by the light to get better ocular scans that I could do at the time. Problem is, I don't think they'll pay much attention if I do it. I was hoping I could convince you to send out that message and then run the scans when they get here. Oh, and run them on me, too, if you don't mind, or have one of the other docs do it."

Jayla sipped her coffee and thought for a moment. Vivid dreams were hardly a reason to order more physicals and brain wave scans on the entire away team, but if Camila was concerned about the dreams, she could certainly give her a once over. And to be honest, checking over the away team after mission to an unknown place surely wouldn’t hurt, especially since they’d taken a shuttle, this bypassing the transpoeter’s bio filters. “All right,” she agreed. “I’ll give everyone a once over. Did she say if the places were actual places that she’s heard of, or isn’t she sure?”

"She was adamant that she'd never seen any of them before, but that she recognized them as being in the Gamma Quadrant. She did say that she recognized on of the species, but before that she said that none were a species she recognized, which I thought was odd," Jake said. "I'm guessing you think I'm being crazy."

Jayla shrugged. “I mean, sure it sounds wild, but I make it a point to always take my staff seriously,” she admitted. “If you think it’s worth investigating, I’m willing to give it a go. What’s the worse that can happen? We waste our time. It’s not like there’s really a lot going on at the moment.”

Alex grinned. "And that's why you're a damned fine officer, Commander Kij," he said. "I'll forward you my scans of the corpses and our people. They brought those two we rescued up after Security cleared them. We were gone by then, but the PA-C on duty worked them up. I checked in here before I went to meet with Lieutenant Di Pasquale. But I didn't know about the dreams then."

"All right," she replied with a sigh. "On the plus side, this report will have to wait!" She grinned. "Shall I start with you, since you're here?"

"Sounds good to me," Alex said. "But don't forget to send out that message."

“I won’t,” Jayla promised, standing. “For now, lets get you checked over.”

"Of course," Alex said. "Finding something tells us something, but finding nothing isn't as definite. Yeah, there are signs of telepathic tampering that can show up on scans, but there are a lot more signs that don't. And while the imprinting of hypnotic suggestions via the ocular root using something like flashing lights would leave a mark, mostly that would just tell us that they were exposed to bright lights. What I'm hoping is that we can narrow things down a little. Like, if none of the Away Teams show signs of telepathic intrusion, that suggests it might be the light. If out of all of us, only Di Pasquale, Parks, and Mackie report the dreams, and if they are no signs of ocular damage or scarring in my eyes, and there shouldn't be, since as far as I can remember, I was facing away, then that really suggests the light is the culprit. Or maybe not. That's all above my paygrade."

Jayla grinned as she listened to him speak. “I know how it works, Alex,” she pointed out. “I am a Doctor, after all.”

"Sorry," Alex said. "Just thinking out loud. Where do you want to start?"

"Well, let's see if there's any evidence of light damage from that flash you saw," she replied. "Even if you weren't looking directly at it, it still may have left evidence."

"Sure," Alex said. "You going to take a look through the scope first? Or do you want me to lay down on a biobed so you can take those readings first?"

"Let's do the scope first," she replied, leading him out into main Sick Bay.

Alex followed Jayla out into Sickbay. They shared a laugh when he went to assist her as if they were examining someone else. He shrugged and laughed. "Sorry," he said. "Force of habit."

"It's okay," she laughed. "Have a seat."

Alex hopped up on the bio bed. Jayla checked everything to do with his eyes. They found nothing, which is what he expected. She scanned his brain and there were no telltale biochemical markers to indicate he had been tampered with.

"Well," Alex said. "I guess it was worth a try. I hope I'm not wasting your time. I'll help with the other exams later if that'll make your life easier."

Jayla shrugged. "At least we have a baseline," she said. "Now to chek the others and see if there is any corrolation."

"Alright," Alex said. "Back to the salt mines for me then. I was going to do walk-ins and triage today unless you want me doing something else?"

"That sounds perfect," she replied with a grin. "It'll free me up to finish that report. Yay," she added with zero enthusiasm.

Alex chuckled. "Don't worry," he said. "I'll have my own reports to deal with before the day is out." He laughed. "Of course at some point you'll have to read that, too! Okay, I'm going to go and look at the schedule and see who's got appointments today. I'll help the nurses do preliminary exams, get vitals, and all that, too, while I'm at it."

“You’re the best medical corpsman I’ve ever had,” replied Jayla. “And that has nothing to do with the fact that we’re dating. Really. Most of them don’t take initiative at all.

"Yeah," Alex said. "I'm working on that. And that in part just an impression, by the way. The IDCs usually do take initiative, it's their job to be independent. But the others, yeah, they tend to wait for someone to tell them what to do, either because they're new, or because they don't want to interfere and screw things up, or because they're just lazy. I'm working on training the new ones up and getting the less confident ones to understand when to wait for orders, when to ask questions, and when to just glove up and dive in. The lazy ones--well--I've been applying boot to backside pretty frequently. It's worked on some of them, others, not so much. I'll have a list of people that need to be transferred somewhere else on your desk by the time we're back in our own neck of the woods."

"Bad enough to transfer?" she commented. "Wow. That's something. Anyway, I suppose I'd better get to that report or Rasputin will come looking for it." It was clear by her tone that she didn't want that to happen.


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