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After Swap Syndrome

Posted on Wed Apr 7th, 2021 @ 7:09pm by Executive Officer Jake Ford & Oliver Lucas & Chief Helmsman Eden Bowers

Mission: Stowaway
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Following "Menage a Trois"
991 words - 2 OF Standard Post Measure

Jake was still feeling a little confused by events as he and Eden arrived at sickbay. He kept replaying the scene over and over in his head. Things between himself and Liha had been escalating, sure. But then something had happened. Something he'd said? He couldn't quite put his finger on what had come out of his mouth, just that it had serious angered the woman. And as much as he didn't care for her he knew that it would be a bad idea to push her that far.

He blinked and looked up as they approached the medical officer on duty. After giving Eden a cautious look, he cleared his throat.

"Hey, got a minute?" he asked. "I wondered...I think I need some kind of check-up or something."

Oliver looked up. Late night shift wasn't usually a time when anyone bothered the on-duty medic. It was rare he'd have to do anything, but the new doc was pretty stuck to the rule of having someone around at all times.

"What can I do for you?" he asked, setting-aside his reading.

"Hopefully you can tell me. I've been feeling strange since the whole out-of-body thing. Apparently I just shouted something out in Romulan at Liha. Except...I don't speak Romulan." Jake spoke slowly and carefully, not sure how to explain.

Oliver looked at him, not really sure what to make of the statement, but motioned to the biobed and started running the scans.

"We took some readings of everyone right after it happened, so we should have some idea of whether there's anything neurological going on. Have you had anything similar?" he asked, looking at Eden.

"No, but then Gregnol was Human like I am. I'll let you know if I get the urge to scratch in inappropriate places or grunt a lot or drink beer." Eden was only teasing of course.

Oliver looked over the preliminary results from the scan, matching them up to the previous sets they had to work with. He wasn't an expert at all - mainly he was trying to see if there were any obvious differences, as that would give an indication and he might be able to put a label on it.

"Well, I'm not seeing much in the way of physical things here, but I'm not an expert," he admitted. It was a good get-out clause, and Dr Anjes would have a better idea. "But..." He set aside the scans and looked at the pair.

"What is it?" Jake asked.

"Well, when we were working with XBs in the reclamation projects, we'd see some things a little like this. Leftovers from being hooked up to a collective consciousness. Memory and knowledge bleeding. It was hard to pick through the real and the foreign memories for a lot of people, even with help. It's psychological, not physiological."

"It's in my head, you mean?" Jake frowned.

"That's one possibility. We've never dealt with anything like this before." Oliver shrugged. "All I can say is that the human brain is remarkably resourceful and adaptable. Best guess is that some of the neural pathways might have gotten a little mixed around by having a Romulan psyche take over for a few days. Could be they sort themselves out. Could be that they don't. No way of knowing for sure."

"So what else did you find out from the XBs? Anything I should expect to happen?"

"Hard to say. You seem pretty normal, you look and sound fine; many of them didn't. There was a lot of trauma involved in the assimilation process." Oliver felt himself skim across some painful memories of his own. Working with those individuals had been both horrible and rewarding at the same time. "Otherwise, it could be any number of things. Dr Anjes might be able to talk over some of the details with you, but from my experience it could result in mild dyspraxia, dissociation, or small changes in mood. I guess we don't really have a counsellor on board to talk things over with, but maybe your partner here can help with some of that." He motioned to Eden.

She wasn't sure she was the best person to talk to, not that Jake didn't trust her or she wasn't sympathetic but she had no training and only wanted to smother him with attention and cookies when he wasn't feeling well.

"Great. So we don't really know if anything actually is wrong with me..." Jake sighed.

"Awww, it will be okay. We'll figure this out. Until then why don't you just take a little time off work and we can spend the day watching movies or cartoons . . . . or we could spend the day in bed?" Eden responded unsure how to ease his nerves.

"Thanks." Jake took hold of her hand and gave it a squeeze. He felt confused and conflicted, and of course she would be feeling some of that too. Then again, Eden usually seemed to be pretty firmly grounded despite herself. "I can't think of anything better than taking a break and having some fun after all we've been through."

"It will probably pass in a bit. You just got a couple of wires crossed and I can totally see how that would happen. At least you aren't seeing things or hearing things that aren't there. Sometime I'll tell you about Sebastian being possessed by another being and maybe that will make you feel better?" Eden hoped, resting her head on his shoulder.

"Oh hey..." Oliver piped-up from his notes. "Do come back if you start developing extreme paranoia and the urge to murder people. I guess I have to say that, you know. Just in case?"

"Comforting," Jake sighed. He glanced back at Eden. "Sounds like Liha should be the one in here. C'mon, let's go finish dinner."

"Sure . . ." Eden squeezed his arm and followed after him. "Did you want to hear my story?"


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