((Examination Room - Medical Centre - Grand Mezzanine - Amity Outpost))
((Ten more hours later….))
Ikaia was feeling exhausted. The poor CMO hadn’t gone to sleep yet. Instead, he found his solace in a rather large cup of coffee. Dark rings had started to form under his eyes. He was seated in a chair. The only thing keeping his head up was the palm of one of his hands. His elbow rested on his knee. Between looking after Kivik and putting the pieces together on J’naii physiology, he has had a busy night.
Through the hours of waiting with little to do while the treatment do its work, Falina was able to perform her daily meditations, well, except for the devotional meditation, since she didn’t had access to any shrine or altar. She’ll have to do with the others until she can get out of the room. But she can see the exhaustion in the Klingon CMO.
Wong: ::Muttering:: Remind me to never ask “how bad can that be….”
He paused to yawn. He was too tired to even bother stifling that. He looked up from his cup to Kivik.
Suribana: We know that things can always turn for the worse, it’s just that we tend to hope for the best.
Kivik groaned - a surprisingly loud sound for such a small Ensign. Ne wasn’t sure what came over nem, but every part of nir body ached and overhearing someone say that things could still turn for the worse was nearly enough to make nem lose it.
Kivik: No… please… It’s all up hill from here… It has to be.
Wong: How are you feeling, Kivik?
Kivik shot a glare at Ikaia that ne typically reserved exclusively for nir alarm clock - rage.
Kivik: ::Grumpily:: Not as bad as you’re going to feel the next time you ask me how I’m feeling!
Ne collected nemself…
Kivik: ::Normal:: I… I’m sorry Lieutenant. I don’t know what came over me… I think perhaps things are shifting. I can speak clearly, but I’m finding it harder to control my… ::tears welling up:: to control my emotions!
The J’naii started sobbing, pulling the blanket up over nir head like a cloak.
Suribana: If things go as planned, you should begin to feel better and better from now on.
Kivik: ::Wailing:: Nothing is going as planned!!!
Wong: Kivik, it’s going to be okay. We’re going to help you get--- ::Yawning:: through this!
Suribana: This will be an interesting case to document. This strain of the flu might be new in this quadrant and if it spreads, this will be the original one in case we need to formulate a cure or a treatment for future ones.
Wong: Or at least help any J’naii who come down with it.
Kivik leapt from the bed, sending the blanket flying, and bounded over towards the two doctors.
Kivik: ::Suddenly exuberant, talking a mile-a-minute:: Well, if you want I could help put together a comprehensive database of information on J’naii physiology - you know, I used to be a biologist on my homeworld before going into Anthropology and I’ll bet that I could provide some much needed information - the Federation’s records are a little sparse on my species - probably because so few of us ever leave - but then that’s a whole other issue, I don’t think any of us are here to talk about politics, are we?
Kivik paused to breathe and noticed the exhausted expression and dark circles on Ikaia’s face. Ne slouched and started walking back towards the biobed, utterly defeated, picking up the blanket and dragging it with nem.
Kivik: ::Whiney:: But I guess if you’re too tired…
Suribana: You seem pretty tired doctor, remember what you told me about the burn out?
Wong: Heh…. getting me with my own advice? Now that is a power move. Real clever…. ::Yawns::
Suribana: You might want to take some rest. I can check on ner for a few hours.
Wong: Are you going to be okay on your own, Doctor?
Suribana: I promise I’ll wake you if something goes wrong.
Kivik: ::Jumping on the biobed, singing in J’naii:: Mendcha t’ialok nyr wealtun!!! ::To Suribana:: Come on, sing it with me! Mendcha t’ialok nyr wealtun!!! One more time! Mendchaaa t’ialok nyr wealtuuuunn!!!
Ikaia couldn’t leave this room without breaking the quarantine and he absolutely couldn’t sleep here. He put his half full mug of coffee down on a nearby table.
Wong: Oh…. don’t worry…. I don’t think I’ll have problems with wakefulness…..
Suribana: It seems so, but you might try it, it’s just finding some ear plugs to soften the … music.
Kivik: You’re telling me you two don’t know any J’naii music? You are missing out, my friends!
Ne stepped from the bed and walked over to them, trying desperately to remember what their names were. The Ensign was pretty sure ne knew them… the tall one with the hair was certainly familiar… Or were they?
Kivik: Uh… where am I?
That was new. To Ikaia, that was worrying. He picked up another hypospray of decongestant.
Wong: Okay. Kivik, my name is Lieutenant Ikaia Wong. I’m the Chief Medical Officer here. And I’m going to administer this hypospray and it should help you. You are at the Amity’s Medical Centre.
He tiredly looked back at Suribana who shared his concern.
Wong: Please keep nem busy. Ne seems a little uh… well… you know.
Suribana: :: sighing :: All right, Come here ensign. Remember me? Doctor Suribana.
Kivik: ::Laughing:: I might now know who you are - but that is hilarious!
Suribana: Instead of music, let’s see if you can remember things particular from your species. Tell me something that only J’naii have.
Kivik sat on the floor and crossed nir legs, almost like a schoolchild would, resting nir cheeks upon nir hands and nir elbows upon nir knees.
Kivik: ::Thinking:: Hmmm… We have copper-based blood. No, wait, Vulcans have that too. Mmmm… Oh! ::Pointing to nir forehead ridges:: These! No, wait… Dr. Klingon has these too. ::Deep in thought:: Aha! J’naii have a fairly unique chromosomal structure, compared to other humanoids. Does that count?
Suribana: Okay, we can both work to this. You tell me something and I tell you something. All right?
Kivik: This is a fun game! Will you tell me.. ::thinking:: ..can you eat the bugs if they’re in your soup?
Ikaia walked up towards Kivik. With all that moving around, it was difficult to get at Kivik’s neck! He was going to have to settle for an arm instead. He quickly administered the hypospray to Kivik’s arm.
Wong: And there. You got your decongestant. This should help with the pressure in your sinuses.
Kivik: ::Rubbing nir arm:: Ow! That hurt. ::To Ikaia:: Hey - I know you, you’re Dr. Klingon!
Falina looked at Wong and thought that Dr. Klingon suited him well. However, she’s not going to call him that, at least not yet on their actual confidence level.
As the swelling decreased in Kivik’s head once again, the strange thoughts cleared and nir memory returned - nir memory of the last twenty plus hours spent with CMO Wong and Dr. Suribana in Amity’s Sickbay. As the J’naii sat, stunned, back down on the biobed, there was a prolonged silence.
Ne felt overwhelmed - both by the virus afflicting nir body, and by the exhaustion of spending so much time in confusion - but most of all by the kindness and patience ne had been met with at the hands of these healthcare providers.
Seeing ne blinking a few times she recognized that the hypospray was doing something good on ner body, probably clearing ner head.
Suribana: Are you feeling better?
Kivik: I don’t know how I can thank you both for the help you’ve given me. I don’t think this is how any of us intended to spend our… well, I suppose day. I really appreciate you both staying with me and getting me through this.
Suribana: We’re doctors, that’s what we live for. Besides, it was an unforgettable way to know you.
Falina smiled while she helped Kivik get seated. Ikaia sat on the edge of Kivik’s biobed and passed over a box of tissues.
Wong: Feeling any better yet?
Kivik: ::Pinching the bridge of nir nose:: Ugh! It feels impossible that this is what better feels like… But yes. Remind me never to get sick again. When I get out of here, I’m going to go over every inch of this station with an Ultraviolet Biofilter…
Suribana: That will be highly inefficient, but I share the sentiment. You just keep up with your vaccines and should have no major issues.
Wong: You know what? I don’t blame you after this experience.
Kivik reached for nir PADD again and tapped on the screen.
Kivik: While I’m present, perhaps we can take the time, tired as we are, to do something productive? I know that Federation medical files are sorely lacking for information on J’naii biology and, well, I am uniquely qualified to speak on the subject. Perhaps, with your medical knowledge and my firsthand experience we can fill in some of those gaps?
Wong: That might be for the wisest. Our database could do with better knowledge on J’naii physiology. It may also help those in the future who may be faced with similar issues.
Suribana: True, all the information we can have about your species will help us, not only for this treatment, but for any future problems that might arise.
Kivik: ::Nodding contritely:: You’ve already seen me at my worst - and besides, we’re all scientists here. There’s no need to leave any subjects off-limits to modern medicine. If I can provide information that will make your jobs easier or could save a life, I’ll happily do it. You can even jab me for samples, if you want, Ikaia.
Wong: Well, I’m not going to jab you unless I have a really good reason for it.
Suribana: I might take you on that, but not today. Anyway, you’ve already provided us with the creation of this strain vaccine. Right now, just a little information that you’d like to share, I’ll see for it to be added to the database. For example, is the J’naii genome known long ago?
Kivik: That’s an easy enough place to start. The J’naii genome was sequenced in… ::calculating:: it would be about 1925 on Earth. We’re a remarkably homogenous species - the result of both selective pressures on the home world and fairly ubiquitous genetic engineering. It’s rare for a J’naii to be born with no modifications - predominantly to avoid genetic defects. I’m sure we could use that data to better understand the virus’ effect on me.
Wong: That would be beneficial. It would be great to fill out the database better. However, I am concerned with how you’re feeling at the moment.
Suribana: Well, that’s an interesting thing to know and it is an interesting fact that almost all of your people are taken care of even before birth. If Wong isn’t against it, I believe you should get some rest. We’ll test each of us for the next hour and if things show clear, we might be able to leave this room and get to our normal lives again. What do you think?
Ikaia tried to stifle another yawn. He was really feeling exhausted. He was pretty sure if he sat still long enough, he’d probably nod off.
Wong: I think that sounds like a---- ::Yawns:: good idea. There’s always going to be time to pick back up on an anatomy and physiology lesson later.
Suribana: Even a hard worker as I am, I’m up to leave this for a future moment. After so many hours locked here, we need to clear our minds a bit.
Wong: Agreed. I can barely keep my eyes open. I think I’m going to call it. Time of exhaustion - now….
(( Almost nine hours later ))
Falina had managed to sleep for a few hours after having watched over Kivik and Wong the first hours the physician assistant slept. After checking that Kivik was showing no signs of relapse of the symptoms, she allowed herself to sleep, setting up an alarm to wake her just before it was time for the last check up.
Suribana: How are you two feeling?
Wong: Exhausted. But by my scans, Ensign Kivik should be pretty close to over nir’s illness. I also got a call from the lab. They have a vaccine against this strain.
Suribana: Great! Once we have it and we’re clear, we should send the report to Ops to initiate preventive measures in case someone else show’s any symptoms.
Ikaia rubbed his face. After this was over, he was going to crash on the patient’s couch in his office and sleep.
Kivik: ::Groaning:: Ughhh… well, I’m once again fully aware that I am a J’naii and not a cactus… I’d say this was good if it didn’t mean I was also fully aware of how exhausted and sore I am.
Kivik sat up and stretched nir sore limbs.
Kivik: Still, that is excellent news about the vaccine. I suppose I’m glad I caught the bug if it meant getting ahead of the Levodian flu season.
Wong: I’d rather have not had anyone exposed to the virus. But at the very least we can knock down one virus during this flu season and we’re now in a much better position than we were before.
Suribana: You’ll be the first to get rid of it. That’s something good. And given that you’re the first patient that we’ve had of this strain, we can call it the Kivik’s Flu variant.
Kivik: Wait, you want to name it… after me?
Falina couldn’t help but smile and shrug.
Wong: There’s an expression in medicine that goes - “eponymity is better than anonymity.” Congratulations, Kivik!
Kivik: Hmm… I suppose I’m honoured?
Suribana: Well, it’s a way to get in the history books. Once done, getting there for another reason might be easier as your name is already known...
Wong: And if you have future research that you’re working on, it will make it easier for you to get your work published too.
Kivik: Well, all I can say is that I truly appreciate both of you working so hard to take care of me, especially given the lack of information you were working with. I promise - I will be back to help complete that database on J’naii. If it can help anyone in the future, it will be well worth it. ::Standing up and putting nir hands on nir hips:: Now - what can I do to help distribute this vaccine?
Suribana: I believe that after all this you’ll have a day off to fully recover, isn’t it?
She looked at Wong for confirmation of her assessment
Wong: You can leave that with us. But I do thank you for your help, Kivik. In the meantime, I suggest doing as Doctor Suribana says and take the day off to recover and relax. You’ve been through quite the ordeal in the last 29 hours.
Suribana: The rest of the medical team along with Ops will get that sorted out. We might see you tomorrow for a final check so you can get back to full duty. Is that okay Chief Wong?
Ikaia nodded as he tried to stifle yet another yawn.
Wong: We should be able to accommodate you tomorrow, Kivik. I think we’ll all be in good shape for then.
Kivik: I hope so. Right now, my body feels like all sorts of bad shapes. I’ll go home and lock myself in my room then. No sense exposing Scotty to this if I don’t have to. The next time we have the chance, I owe you both a coffee - err.. maybe several coffees!
Falina nodded to him and accepted his point on the matter. She looked forward to getting to her quarters and being able to meditate in peace and get along with the amount of hours they’ve spent in this isolation. She wanted some privacy and even as she like to work as part of her life, she wanted to be alone for a few hours.
As for Ikaia, after this whole mess he went to decontam to clean himself off before finally slinking back to his office. He locked the door behind him and notified Holokaia to only wake him up for emergencies. He settled down on the patient couch and as soon as his head hit the pillow, he started snoring and was out like a light.
Kivik returned home in a daze. The last few days - really, the last six months - felt like a blur and there was still much to do. Already, nir trip to the Delta Quadrant had proven eventful. Ne hoped that the rest of nir experiences would be more bearable than that… Now it was time for rest. Real rest. The next couple weeks were going to continue to be eventful - and with the Levodian Flu thankfully under control - perhaps they would even be enjoyable too!
Lieutenant Ikaia Wong PA-C
Chief Medical Officer
Ensign Kivik (ne/nem/nir)