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We Need To Talk

Posted on Tue Nov 2nd, 2021 @ 8:46pm by Jeassaho Kea (*) & Captain Rueben Gregnol & Chief Engineer Michael Burnstein

Mission: Holoworld
Location: Main Engineering
Timeline: MD10 14:00
1491 words - 3 OF Standard Post Measure

Gregnol looked at Jeassaho as he knocked on the open door to the chief engineering officers office. The woman looked so much more relaxed than he felt, she believed that they could find the source of it onboard as there was nowhere else it could be that could have caused the secretary’s confusion.

The Captain had just had a deep and meaningful conversation with the doctor about the patient the man now had in sickbay. He had grabbed his wife on his way down as he wanted support to explain what was going on but also between the two engineers he was sure that they would figure out what was going on onboard the ship to cause Nollel’s mental confusion. “Hey Michael can we talk?” He called.

Burnie set down the PaDD he'd been studying. Nollel had been pretty clear that his worrying over her was irritating, but he couldn't stop - his gut said something was wrong even if he had no proof beyond symptoms she claimed were just from a cold - so he instead he had immersed himself in work. But at the Captain and Jea entering, he set it aside. He saw Jea all the time, but a visit from both was unusual. "Of course."

Jeassaho hit the door release closing the door as if she got some silence communication to do so despite the way it was done fluid. She looked up at the man and smiled softly at him. She saw the man daily but this time she was there to support her husband in a difficult conversation that required the smartest people onboard. “Normally I would not bring Jeassaho with me for this type of conversation but I need the best people onboard thinking in stuff.” Gregnol admitted sitting on the couch opposite the desk.

"What stuff?" Burnie asked, brows lifting. Something serious had to be up for a closed door meeting with both of them.

“Nollel. We know something has been going on.” Jeassaho started.

“She’s in sickbay and they are looking after her.” Gregnol admitted knowing he had not been informed yet.

"Sickbay?!" Burnie asked, alarmed and headed toward the door hardly thinking of the fact it had just been closed or that Gregnol and Jea were both in front of it until he was about to collide into them. "What happened? Is she.... " anxiety tripped the aphasia he could usually work around and the word wouldn't come. With a sharp jerk of his head, he forced out the next closest he could grasp, albeit with a slight stutter, "...a-awake?"

Gregnol nodded quickly. “She was when I left though I did suggest she tried and sleep.” Gregnol assured quickly realising he might have missed a few steps in the explanation of it all.

“The doctors have found something unique in her brain with a scan. It’s not damage before you go down that route but something is not processing properly.” Jeassaho explained.

Burnie took a deep breath. He didn't know how you ruled out damage with a processing error - in a computer that was usually a faulty chip - but he was going to trust the doctor on that. At least for now. Exhaling slowly, he refocused. Some people might be surprised at anyone going so quickly from emotional to analytical, but he was an engineer and faced with a problem what came most naturally to him was to analyze it, identify the issue, and find a solution. At least there he was on solid ground."Okay. So not a hardware problem, a processing glitch. That's either something interfering with input, noise in transmission or a glitch in storage. If it's not a faulty component, that almost always means environmental effects... Has anyone else reported similar symptoms?"

“No,” Gregnol said.

“But she is the only Ardanian onboard remember,” Jeassaho said relieved he took the engineering approach just like she suspected he would. Engineers were a different breed of people than the other people onboard starships, the whole ship relied on them more than anyone else.

"Yeah, true. I guess we need to take a process of elimination approach," Burnie mused aloud, already moving to his terminal to program system wide scans. "I'll run a level 2 diagnostic on environmental systems and compare to our last scans. But we should also try to think of everything that might have introduced a new variable over the last week or two."

"Is that how long you have been noticing the difference?" Jeassaho wondered following him to the terminal already to get her hands dirty.

Burnie shook his head. "No, only a few days, but she was ignoring, even denying symptoms so it might have started before that," he explained, not looking up from the data starting to stream across his screen. "Besides, if it is environmental it might be something that had built up in her system over time."

"Only thing that I have noticed on board is the cold that seems to have flown around the ship quicker than scuttlebutt," Gregnol said trying to make conversation so he was not left out of the process. He was no engineer and he could not exactly punch of diplomatic his way out of this issue.

"Nollel thought it was the cold..." Burnie frowned at the lack of obvious causes in his readings so far. "Has the doctor confirmed that it's the Tellarian cold? It might be something that mimics the symptoms."

"She has no infection in her body." Gregnol assured. "Just something in her brain is causing her to..."

"Glitch." Jeassaho offered helpfully as she saw her husband struggling to find an appropriate word that would translate for an engineer correctly.

Burnie nearly cringed at the term as it had also been used to explain to him the aphasia that gotten him discharged from Starfleet. Glitch didn't sound so bad to a layman, but a computer glitch could bring down your shields or crash a ship, and as he knew too well not every glitch could be repaired... No he told himself firmly. His 'glitch' was a one-off - the result of a temporal anomaly study gone very very wrong, which was why Medical hadn't had a way to fix it. Rosie hadn't encountered anything remotely like that. He ran a quick scan for chronitons anyway and blew out a quiet relieved breath when it showed clear. "Okay. Something has to be causing it. If it's not a bug, it could still be another environmental factor. I can pull data from the biofilters for the last week, but I'm an engineer, not a doctor. I don't know how to evaluate what might or might affect her."

Jeassaho noticed the search for chronitons but said nothing, she had been running a similar scan since their experience in the other universe. Something timey whimey had happened to make them jump forward three years but she had not mentioned it to anyone so he would not be looking for that reason. "Who would?" Gregnol wondered already standing to go and find someone that could do the job.

"That would be the doctor," Burnie said through nearly clenched teeth. Obviously, their doctor had no idea what it could be or this visit would be unnecessary... Shaking his head, Burnie pushed frustrated irritation away - he couldn't diagnose issues with the ship without sufficient data, and no doctor couldn't be expected to diagnose a person without it either. He did worry that Ardanan physiology might not be something their doctor was up on. "If this doesn't point to anything for him, maybe we can reach out to Nollel's homeworld. Or maybe Starfleet Medical - I still have some contacts, people who'd help if I reached out..."

"We will. We have someone who will be more than willing to help." Gregnol said thinking of Daucina and the warning he had gotten there and the request that if he needed help it was always there. Who better than a doctor turned Starfleet Captain. Jeassaho looked at her husband surprised as she realised who he meant to call on. "This is not going to turn into a ... another situation that got out of hand." He added thinking on Dixoho.

"No it is not," Burnie said firmly, transferring the information to an isolinear chip. "If you don't mind, I'd like to deliver this myself and talk to the doctor. It's a lot of data and I don't want to waste time if there's anything that needs clarified." Plus it would give him a non-mother-hen excuse to visit sickbay and see Nollel.

“Not at all. I will come with you.” Gregnol offered.

“And I will hold the fort in engineering.” Jeassaho did not offer but instructed giving Burnie the option to not rush back. She could easily hold the fort in a small engineering like they had with her eyes closed after working a starbase and Odyssey class.


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