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Psychic Contamination Part 2

Posted on 20 May 2019 @ 3:55pm by Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Camila Di Pasquale

Mission: Truth and Justice
Location: Sick Bay
Timeline: MD 2 | 1030

After confirming that there were no signs of psychic tampering with Alex- an outcome she had fully expected- Jayla sent the request for Camila to come down for an examination. She should probably check over the whole away team, but decided to take things one step at a time. None of the reported symptoms seemed terribly malicious, so they could afford to take their time.

For now, all she could do was to wait for Camila to find a spare minute to come to Sick bay.

Having expected the request for a checkup, Camila turned the department over to Lieutenant Toral and made her way up to Sickbay on deck six and headed in. "Excuse me," she asked a Petty Officer. "Can you tell me where to find Commander Kij?" she asked.

"Certainly," the Vulcan male told her. "Doctor Kij is currently in her office, Lieutenant."

Camila gave a nod and headed to the Chief Medical Officer's office and waved through the transparent windows where Jayla sat studying something on her terminal.

Catching movement out of the corner of her eye, Jayla looked up and spotted Camila. Quickly, she stood and abandoned her report for the second time today. “Hi, thanks for coming,” she said cheerfully as she approached. “Rylan says you were experiencing some weird dreams?”

Rylan, hmm? Camila thought with an inward bit of amusement. "That would be correct," she said. "I tried to explain to him that it wasn't just ordinary dreams, but he didn't seem to believe me. So here I am."

Jayla shrugged. "He seemed pretty convinced when he told me about it," she replied. "Medical professionals like to downplay symptoms so as not to concern the patients. Maybe that's what he was doing? Or maybe he wasn't concerned. I don't know. Anyway, shall we get started?"

"There's no time like now," Camila said, even though she privately disagreed with downplaying symptoms. She was Security and to downplay a situation meant that the ship and crew were in grave danger.

"Right this way," said Jayla, leading Camila to a biobed where she had laid out a retinal scanner along with a neural scanner. "Hop up here and we'll get started."

"She told me to walk this way..." Camila started to sing, then stop. "Actually, you didn't say walk. My bad. Want to invest in some property on Deleator IV? The methane atmosphere has been resupplied."

Jayla stopped, blinked, and looked at Camila blankly. "Please tell me that was conscious," she said.

"It was, but it was one of the things I dreamed about. That and being able to own my very own star hopper for a ridiculously low price in an alien currency I have no conscious memory of."

"Well, that's a relief," replied Jayla, going back to activating the retinal scanner. "I mean that you said it on purpose. Otherwise, there would have been a bigger problem than I had imagined."

"What's not a relief is having those dreams," Camila said. "They're annoying and have nothing to do with my subconscious and it's interfering with my sleep."

"Well, if we can find out what's causing it, we might be able to correct it," Jayla replied. "Hopefully, anyway. But, one step at a time," she added, activating the retinal scanner. "Hold still, but you can blink if you need to."

"So which is it, hold still or blink?" The Security Chief asked. "If I blink, that's not holding still. Of course, talking isn't holding still, either. So I'll shut up and not blink now."

Jayla giggled. "I meant hold your head stationary," she said, looking through the retinal scanner as it read everything in Camila's eyes. "And keep your eyes looking straight ahead. Blinking is fine. Talking is fine. Just keep your head still."

"Got it," Camila said and used the focus she would use when tracking multiple targets on a firing range and became absolutely still and didn't blink.

"All right," said Jayla. "Got it. Now We just have to compare it to the retina scan on file." She went to a nearby terminal and pulled up Camila's files, then connected the scanner and placed the two scans side by side. The computer flashed a perfect match, no abnormalities found. Jayla wrinkled her brow and pursed her lips to one side. "Hm," she said. "I was really hoping we'd find something."

"Like what?" the ombre haired woman asked. "A tumor?"

"That would have been a bit extreme," replied Jayla. "No, I was hoping for scarring or some sort of minor change or something."

"So if there's no scarring in the physical part of my brain, what can you check for next?" Camila asked.

"Well, I've only checked your retinas," answered Jayla. "I would like to do a brainwave scan, as well, though. If I don't find anything there... to be honest, I'm not sure where else to look."

"Since they're in my dreams, it's probably in my subconscious," the other woman said. "Maybe put me under and then do a scan when I enter REM sleep?"

"Hm, that's a thought," replied Jayla, tapping one finger on her chin. "Although putting people under usually results in no REM sleep. Theoretically, that's why they always wake up groggy. Still, we could have you sleep here hooked up to machines. That should get us some readings."

"Then give me a sedative that'll put me under without being induced sleep," Camila said. "We had to do that to a SAR rescuee when I was in training. His species couldn't be induced to sleep and we had to use sedatives instead before we could move him out of a canyon. Then you can monitor my REM sleep before you give me a stimulant to wake me up."

"Meds can sometimes interfere with test results," replied Jayla. "I suppose we can try it and if anything looks fishy, we can try it the other way. Anyway. Let's try this brain wave scanner first and see what we come up with. Lie down and we'll get started."

Camila gave a nod and laid back on the bed and closed her eyes. "You're the doc, Doc," she said.

Jayla just grinned as she began the scans. They took a bit longer than the retina scans, but only by a few minutes. Once done, she compared them to Camila's last brain wave scan. "Hm," she said, frowning. "No significant differences."

"I'm not a doctor, but you'd get more results if I just went to sleep and waited for the ad dreams to come," Camila said.

“Possibly,” agreed Jayla. “Shall we try it?”

An hour later and some rather intense dreams on Camila's part which generated plenty of information for Jayla's machines to study and analyze. It seemed when she went into REM sleep, her subconscious mind began putting out a huge amount of neural signals of an alien origin which seemed to trail off before Camila had settled into a deeper sleep. When she awoke, she rubbed her eyes and sat up. "Raktajino, please," she muttered.

Jayla sent a CNA to retrieve the Raktajino from a nearby replicator. “Well, you were right,” she announced. “There is some foreign activity going on while you dream. But it degraded the longer you dreamed. And after a period of no dreams, when it picked back up, it was definitely weaker. My guess is the more you dream, the quicker it’ll run out. I still have to check the others, but I’ve got enough data here to keep the entire medical research teams busy for several days.”

"Several days? What am I supposed to do for nights when I have dreams like that?" Camila asked in irritation before taking a large gulp of Raktajino like a Klingon would. "My mind is muddled enough as it is without dreaming about some hunk of ice world that's perfect for the cold based humanoid in your life or things that lead to nightmares later."

"I mean, you could try a neural inhibitor," Jayla suggested hesitantly. "But, without proper REM sleep, you're likely to be exhausted and irritable after a few days. And it's likely that the dreams would only resume once you stop using it again. I know they're disconcerting, but letting them run their course is the best option. Maybe sleep with the light on and keep a couple of cutsie children's books next to your bed so when you wake up you have something wholesome and sickly sweet to get your mind off of it?"

"I can't sleep with a light on and there's no way that I'll ever get children's books, sickly sweet or otherwise," the Security Chief said as she made short work of her Raktajino. "I just want these damned alien dreams of crap for sale out of my head."

"Unfortunately, the only thing you can do is to let it run its course," replied Jayla. "Theoretically, anyway. This is all unprecedented stuff. I'll consult with counseling and see if they have any ideas."

"You'd think that Starfleet would have encountered different forms of mental manipulation like this," Camila suggested. "It wouldn't be unheard of for such things to exist."

"We definitely have," replied Jayla. "But this is so deep, I don't think there's any undoing it. And given that it doesn't seem dangerous, letting it run its course is the least risky option. You could talk to the counselor about calming exercises since they're driving you batty."

"I don't need a counselor and I don't need to calm down. It's when I am calm that I go to sleep...and have these farking dreams! That's what's driving me batty. Twenty-fourth century medical technology and it's 'go see the Counselor, Camila. You're batshit crazy.' Sure. Thanks, Doc," she said as she set her Raktajino on the biobed and turned to head out.

Jayla sighed. She chalked it up to frustration at the dreams. She couldn't blame Camila, really; that would be the must frustrating thing to have to deal with. But, there really wasn't much to be done about it.

For now, all she could really do was to leave Camila alone. And to check the others for any stronger signs; something might crop up that hadn't with Camila and it may help her find a treatment.


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