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Avoidance

Posted on 20 Jan 2020 @ 5:18am by Lieutenant Jennin Rhula & Commander Jayla Kij

Mission: Epilogue
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: May 2389

Rhula walked through the corridors of the Black Hawk holding a PADD in front of him. He wasn't actually looking at anything on it, but he was hoping to avoid any random interactions with crewmembers. He just wanted to get to Sickbay, inventory his lab, and get out as fast as he could. That would reduce the likelihood he'd have to interact with anyone. Especially the Trill woman, he thought.

He made it to Sickbay without having to talk to anyone, which was a victory in and of itself. Sickbay looked empty, which was another victory. He started towards his lab.

And that is when Jayla spotted him from her office. She hurried out to catch him before he got to far. "Dr. Jenin!" she called. "I never got a chance to thank you for your work with that Dolmoquor that came out of my ear."

"Dammit," he said quietly. He considered continuing on to his lab, pretending not to hear the Chief Medical Officer. But, because the Prophets desired to make him miserable, he had to work with the woman. So he decided to stop and turn to face her. "You're welcome." He turned away and began walking, briskly, to his lab. An idea stuck him and, before he knew it, he was talking again. "I am curious about what the long term effects are on an individual who does not have their Dolmoqour removed. I could undertake a study; all I need is a test subject. You have experience playing host to parasites, both Dolmoqour and vermiforms like your 'symbiont'. To my lab?"

Jayla grinned to herself, but followed him anyway. "I'm not sure we could get approval to actually put one of those things in someone to find out," she half joked as they walked. "What did you have in mind?"

Dammit. Double dammit.

"It was a joke," he replied, stopping again. He had no interest in her following him into his lab. "You should get back to work. And I to mine."

She couldn't help but laugh. "Oh, I see," she said. "I thought maybe you were going to give one to a tribble or something. But, I never did get a chance to go over the data you collected on it. Did you find anything interesting?"

Rhula wasn't an adherent of the Bajoran religion, and he was beginning to regret not having Prophets to pray to for deliverance from his current unpleasant situation. "I submitted a report to the Captain with my findings. I'm sure someone of your position has the proper clearances to access my report."

"I do," replied Jayla. "I just thought you might like a chance to present your own findings. Most researchers do. If you prefer, though, I can just read the report."

He thought a moment. On the one hand, this was a chance to demonstrate his abilities to a senior officer. On the other hand, that senior officer was a Trill. And a Joined Trill at that. "We can discuss it," he said finally. "After you read it. I'll explain any of the things you didn't understand."

"Deal," agreed Jayla. "Give me ten minutes." And she disappeared back into her office.

True to her word, ten minutes later, she appeared in the lab, a look of confusion on her face. "Dr. Jennin," she said. "Do you have a moment?"

"No," he replied, wishing that would be enough to dissuade the Chief Medical Officer from further engagement, but knowing it wouldn't.

"It's just... tendrils?" she asked. "I didn't see any tendrils on those creatures. I don't suppose you have pictures."

"Not any tendrils," the Bajoran man fired back, still facing his terminal. He tapped a short sequence into the entry pad and one of the displays changed to show a microscopic scan of the Dolmoqour he'd studied. "As you can see, they are very fine. And they seem to be capable of extending quite far into humanoid brains. Unlike the vermiform that you willingly house, these are rather susceptible to isoboramine. It disrupts their biochemistry, making it more difficult to, it seems, maintain their control on their host. Essentially the opposite of your regular parasite."

“Ha!” she barked out a single laugh. “So that’s how I beat it! I knew it couldn’t just be sheer force of will. In other words, any Trill would be able to fight them eventually?”

Rhula shook his head. "You didn't 'beat it'. Your natural biochemistry made it statistically less likely for the parasite to establish and maintain fully control. This is basic medical science." For a second, Rhula wished that he was astounded that the Chief Medical Officer of the ship didn't seem to grasp simple science. "It is fairly likely that any Dolmoqour would have difficulty asserting and maintaining absolute control of any Trill, Joined or not, yes. Whether there is an element of personal determination or not, I cannot say. Nor will I speculate."

“Semantics,” replied Jayla, waving a hand dismissively. “Of curse I know I didn’t have much to do with it. Even so, it gives one a certain confidence to know these things can’t get the best of you. It’s too bad not all species produce isoboromine; it would make things so much simpler.”

Simpler for your little vermiform friends to take us all over, the Bajoran thought. "Was there anything else?"

“I suppose not,” replied Jayla. “Good work, though, Doctor,” she added, holding up the PADD on which she had accessed his report. “Hey, have you considered submitting this to the Federation Medical Journal? This could easily be first page material.”

"No," was all he could be bothered to reply. In reality, he had already made contact with several scientific journals in preparation of submission. The Federation Medical Journal was not one of them however.

“Hm. Well, just a thought,” replied Jayla. “Anyway, I’ll let you get back to work. Thanks!” And with a cheerful smile, she left the lab. She had no idea if Dr. Jennin actually disliked her or if it was her imagination, but she sort of liked him. He might be disagreeable, but at least he was excellent at his job.

Quiet at last, the Bajoran said to himself. He hadn't been on the ship that long, but already he'd found the ship populated by entirely too many Trill. Two of whom, most troubling, he worked for. Fortunately, Djinx seemed happy to give him a wide berth, for which he was grateful. That just left the eternally, and damn near criminally, chipper Doctor Kij. "At least she stays out of my lab most of the time," he muttered, trying to push her from his mind completely so he could get back to work.

 

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