SIM:Medical/Science Conference (Early 2389)

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((Medical/Science Conference, Holodeck))

::Vid-Lotilija visited hairdresser to cut her hair on regular 14 centimeters and do the nails. She was always keeping them moderately long and well painted. She knew it was against regulations, same as her permanent makeup, but in 10 years in Starfleet Academy nobody ever mentioned it, so she defiantly kept it that way. Last check of her uniform, choice of high heels boots and she was ready to join the Conference.::

::Vid-Lotilija arrived to the small holosuite alone, she was the only representative from her ship, not because Tressa or Doc Pierce wouldn’t want to attend, but because she made sure they never find out.::

::The scene was one which would be familiar to the majority of the attendees; one of the tutorial rooms that abounded at Starfleet Academy. A round table and a large screen dominated one end of the space, whilst the other was given over to a small science laboratory and single bed Sickbay, such as were used in training. It was also the ideal layout for discussing theories and then testing them.::

Saveron: Computer, run simulation.

::The scene was populated with the simulcrums of each of the staff members who had kindly answered his request for consultation. Although each ship was expected to operate largely independently, the insight of others was a resource that was not to be ignored.::

::Facing the other attendees, the tall, lanky Vulcan raised a hand in the traditional salute.::

Saveron: Sochya, and welcome. I am Lt. Saveron, acting CMO of the USS Mercury. Permit me to acknowledge the time you have taken to join me for this conference.

::Two of the attendees were known to him; Dr Vess he had worked with at the Embassy and Ensign T'Mynn he knew from the Vulcan cross-fleet conferences. The others he did not, and found it preferable that that would soon be remedied.::

Vess: Good to see yeh again, Doctor. ::To the others.:: Alucard Vess from the Duronis II Embassy, nice to meet yeh all.

Vid-Lotilija: oOAnd where from did yeh fell? Oo Vid-Lotilija, science officer..::She paused and continued in deep sarcastic, slow voice.:: “Assistant Chief” Science officer aboard the USS Apollo.

::This was different for T'Mynn, the conferences via hologram were impersonal to her, so much was untransmittable.::

oO Get used to it. I'M being dragged into the twenty-forth century by my ear lobes. Oo

T'Mynn: Pleasure to greet all of you.

::Jen Malcolm glanced around the room at the assembled officers. There was only one familiar face, and that belonged to Nicholotti - Jen had served with her on the Victory. It was nice to see her again and gave her a friendly nod before turning her gaze back to the other assembled::

Malcolm: Jen Malcolm, CMO of the Avandar. I’m pleased to be here with all of you.

Kells: Aron Kells, from the Drake. I’ve done some work with pathogens of late, and I thought....

::Well, that he could assist. He didn’t feel the need to add in that most of his experience of late had come from addressing the potential problems of the Jaborrhik, a thoroughly nonhuman race and, until recently, a very extinct one. The world upon which he had reintroduced Jaborrhik was as empty as he could’ve made it, given their requirements for life, but he knew that diseases would come for his project. Certainly he’d done plenty of work with pathogens, then … he just hoped some of it would be applicable here. ::

T'Mynn: Hello, Ensign T'Mynn from Tiger. I'm Science with a specialty in terra -forming and a few others. Maybe that experience will be useful,at times we work with natural and created bacterium and virus to achieve the goal.

::Raised her hand in the traditional salute of a Vulcan as well. One couldn't shake hands with a hologram. It didn't have the warmth a living being did,nor could very subtle things be seen.::

::Kali waited as the other officers introduced themselves. Some of them she was familiar with, and some of them she was meeting for the first time. After they had each spoken, she took her turn and nodded in greeting to them all.::

Nicholotti: Commander Nicholotti, from Starbase 118. ::She smiled slightly and glanced over at Jen Malcolm.:: Nice to meet some of you, and see some of you again.

::The holographic conference didn’t fall into silence, for the one who had called it continued as soon as everyone had been introduced.::

Saveron: I asked for this conference to discuss the issue of pathogen preparedness. ::He launched into the topic, all niceties aside.:: As you would know, the USS Mercury is exploring uncharted space in the Menthar Corridor. We recently had a very serious episode where a mutated form of the Aldabaran Lunar Flu was contracted from vermin aboard a previously unknown station, at which we had docked.

::Nodding a 'thank-you to Saveron,T'Mynn listened to what the others had to say.::

::Kali sat back in the chair and steepled her fingers as she listened to the officers speaking around her.::

Vess: Why didn’t yeh run scans before allowin’ yer crew aboard?

Vid-Lotilija: It should be standard procedure, we’re here to make sure this don’t happen again.

Nicholotti: There are things that basic scans may miss, and performing exhaustive, medically specific scans could take precious time that may not exist.

Saveron: I regret that the decision to allow the crew aboard was not mine. ::He was not the Captain.:: Logically the ideal approach to a new environment would be to perform an exhaustive assessment of its pathogen potential before any crew enter it. However given the nature of Starfleet's missions, that is not feasible.

Kells: Well, that’s true -- but in the interests of the health of the crew, isn’t a cursory scan customary?

:: He looked around, searching honestly for an answer, because while he was conscious of away team procedures, he wasn’t sure what a medical officer would be expected to do specifically. ::

T'Mynn: I was wondering that as well. I think it should be. Why isn't it standard procedure?

::With a small, somewhat knowing smile Kali simply let the words move around the table. It was the inevitable problem they often faced; how to fit a square peg in a round hole. There were the way things should be, and then there was reality, and sometimes the two simply didn’t mesh.::

Saveron: I concur, it would be logical. I suggest that as representatives of Fleet 118 Medical we make it an official recommendation. ::That was one of the things he had hoped would evolve out of this conference, some policy recommendations.:: I would be interested to hear of your own experiences, and thoughts on how we might better approach these situations.

::Vid-Lotilija felt wrong hiding her experience, but again didn’t want to enclose any part of her life she didn’t have to to the group of people she don’t know. She smiled to everyone staying quiet, but offered to herself one heavy pouting.::

Vess: Well, fer starters perhaps we can develop a rapid testing system. Something where were can go in and take samples of air, water, and food and test them fer diseases. Somethin’ like a lithmus test fer pathogens. Somethin’ handheld maybe...

Vid-Lotilija: With something handheld you got your people into the trouble already. It should be remotely controlled probe.

Kells: That’s not a bad idea -- but it may not find everything. If the pathogen remains dormant until its reaction within a living host, a probe might not recognize its constituent species as potentially virulent.

Vid-Lotilija: In that case you equip probe with hair nail and skin samples of all the species on your ship, or at least all that may be members of away team. oOHe’s cute, extremely cute.Oo ::She cast him her nicest smile, now turning to Vess.:: oOHe’s good, too.Oo It will not help with Hybrids, where we have mass of unknown... ::She shook her head trying to find right word, but though several appeared proper none was covering everything.:: ...well, everything.

::Malcolm raised her hand to draw their attention::

Malcolm: Beaming over and back is usually a good step toward preventing contamination. The biofilters should help prevent any pathogens coming over.

Kells: True. But again you’d have the same difficulty: How does a machine determine the individual parts of a harmful, living organism?

T'Mynn: Unfortunately we'll have to make it go to school. Data sharing among all ships,with a program that helps " teach" the tri-corder how to find patterns in dangerous organisms.

Nicholotti: ::Nodding towards the Vulcan who had just spoken.:: Knowledge is power. I think that information dissemination should be one priority.

::The sentiment spoken, Saveron continued.::

Saveron: I concur, Commander. ::And data-sharing was one precaution that was easy to take.:: One of the problems with the recent epidemic was that although the Aldabaran Lunar Flu is known to our medical databases, this form was sufficiently mutated that our systems did not recognise it. ::He paused for a moment.:: There is also the issue that the strong exploration drive in the crew can at times over-ride caution. ::They all no doubt had enthusiastic frontiersmen amongst their colleagues.:: I would suggest that we make access by transporter only mandatory during initial contact.

::Kali raised an eyebrow at that and shook her head slightly.::

Nicholotti: What about those moments when transporters aren’t possible?

::While those moments weren’t the norm, it was important to note that there was a rather large possibility that the use of alternate means of transportation would throw a wrench in the transporter plan.::

Vid-Lotilija: Masks with bio-filters.

::Her thoughts wondered. This was much bigger problem, she was experienced with known, but unknown was here much bigger problem. When she was taking her teams into bio-research labs she knew exactly what to expect and was able to test it on the skin, hair and nail samples of her people. In cases like this it was almost impossible to predict and circumvent anything.::

:: T'Mynn rubbed her chin in thought,pacing around the area. She enjoyed solving puzzles. ::

T'Mynn: All are good ideas. Bio-hazard suits work for some species, but may have problems with a tight enclosure of a mask,even a suits could be problematic. Size limitations, or unique body structures. Can we take a class 4 probe, modify with the medical sensor array and it is sent ahead? Telemetry is tied to the ship and remotely operated. It also could take samples, and analyze it.

Kells: We don’t know the mechanism by which the basic virus is modified. The probe would help limit exposure, but you still have the problem of knowing what to look for. The modifier could be an otherwise benign coenzyme, for example.

Saveron: Would it be feasible, do you think, do mandate that the initial contact should be a medical officer in full biohazard suit, to take environmental samples? I am aware that staff often beam down to unknown planets without such protection.

Vid-Lotilija: Wouldn’t it be better to beam sample to the Science lab and test it?

Nicholotti: The more heads on one problem, the better I figure, but we’re forgetting one thing; all of this takes time. If the goal is to set up standard procedure under normal circumstances, then I wholly support the biosuits and testing in both medlabs and science labs, but... ::She sat up now and let her hands fall to the table.:: what happens when you don’t have the luxury of that time?

::If they were going to come up with new standards and procedures to keep officers safe in an increasingly chaotic galaxy, then they would have to take into consideration the idea that things didn’t always allow them to take their time.::

Saveron: Therein lies the crux of the problem. ::The Vulcan said gravely. Commander Nicholotti had hit the nail on the head.:: The nature of Starfleet is such that the extraordinary happens with considerable regularity. Is it possible to protect our Away Teams in the event of their having to urgently access an unknown environment?

::T'Mynn folded her arms across her chest, lifting one hand to rest her chin on while thinking about the pathogenic problem. ::

T'Mynn: How about a shield to block out pathogens? If attuned to allow the right atmospheric for breathing, and portable enough to be worn. What does everyone think of this?

Kells: An excellent idea, if implemented correctly. But it seems to me that we’re straying from our purpose of discussing pathogen preparedness: How do we recognize standard and modified pathogens and respond as quickly as possible?

Saveron: As has been noted, ideally environmental samples would be tested against cell cultures from Federation species for infectivity; but that is only feasible when time for such is available. As Commander Nicholotti points out, that is not always the case.

T'Mynn: The personal shield would protect the user,as for a rapid testing device,I'll need to work a few things out. Something is taking form in my though.

Kells: Commander Nicholotti is correct, and I don’t need to remind anyone here that in the field, you don’t always have the luxury of time and tests. How do we respond in that instance -- how do we minimize contact and response times while maximizing coverage?

Vess: It seems to me we need to the basics of the bodies response to disease: how fast the body responds and produces antibodies to the pathogen, and how fast can we detect them? That is what limits our response time. If we could somehow speed up a samples response in culture...

Saveron: It is less than optimal, but in such circumstances our responses often have to be reactive rather than the preferable proactive; but if the contagion is unknown and particularly virulent, a reactive response may not be fast enough. That was nearly the case with the Variant Aldabaran Lunar Flu. Hence my seeking your views and opinions.

::Unfortunately Saveron didn’t think was a situation with an easy solution, else the conference would not have been necessary. They came round again to that scarce resource; time. Testing and preparedness took time, and there were times when that was something that did not have.::

Vess: It doesn’t seem like we’re gonna find a solution now. What do yeh say we adjourn fer the time being, and come back with ideas?

T'Mynn: I concur. If all of you don't mind my sharing this information with the Tiger's medical and science departments, we may reach a solution faster.

Kells: Agreed. We can reconvene at a future date with further suggestions.

Saveron: Affirmative, that would be agreeable. ::They’d laid out the problem and some possible solutions, they could come back with research results and proposals.:: Permit me to thank you all for your input.

::Kali nodded in agreement as well as the officers seemed to let the gears turn. Now, they would take the information their separate ways, mull in over in their own corners of the galaxy, and return soon with the possibility of new ideas and new approaches to the problem. There was promise in the sheer intelligence the holographic room held; promise that might just prove to save the lives of countless others in the coming years.::



  • Lieutenant Saveron
  • Acting Chief Medical Officer
  • USS Mercury

  • LT Alucard Vess
  • CMO
  • Embassy Duronis II
  • USS Thunder NCC-70605

  • Ensign Vid-Lotilija Ph.D.
  • Assistant Chief Science Officer
  • USS Apollo

  • Ensign T'Mynn Ah'mygahn
  • Science Officer
  • USS Tiger 52199-A

  • Lt. Jen Malcolm
  • CMO
  • USS Avandar

  • Commander Aron Kells
  • Chief Science Officer
  • USS Drake

  • Commander Kalianna Nicholotti
  • Commanding Officer
  • Starbase 118/USS Victory