((Amity Outpost - Starfleet Officer’s Quarters))
Kivik had awoken that morning feeling… odd. Nir head throbbed with a searing sort of discomfort and nir body ached. As ne sat up in nir bunk, ne realized ne was covered in a cold sweat - most unusual indeed for a cactus.
oO Since when was I a cactus? Oo ne pondered, swaying gently in the desert breeze. A small flock of birds flew past in the distance.
Kivik: ::To the birds:: Ah yes, I remember. Since I was plucked from the sun, of course.
With that, ne got out of bed and quickly made nir way to the turbolift, rolling along the floor on nir side. This throbbing searing pain in nir fins was a real drag and there was no time ne would be able to ride the slipstream to Valhalla with this sort of imminent delay. Somebody had to do something to fix this.
As Kivik entered the turbolift, heading towards the Grand Mezzanine, ne began to wonder when the station had filled with so much jelly and how ne was expected to swarm with so much of it weighing nem down.
(( Amity outpost - Medical facilities ))
Falina started the day checking the two smaller medical facilities on the station. She wanted to know her way around, so in case of an emergency, she doesn’t need to ask for directions. When she’s done, she brought up the inventory of the equipment and supplies, trying to find a way to allocate them more efficiently and to give some pointers to the new CMO, for him to evaluate and to realize that she’s one with initiative. As she arrived to the medical bay she acknowledge his presence to the nurses and sent a notification of his arrival to Wong, who was in the office, busy with paperwork it seemed.
She’s having a nice morning when suddenly someone entered the room. It was a humanoid, not sure if it was a man or a woman, her behavior was strange, she or he seemed to be out of normal behavior and suddenly she noticed the slight and blueish cranial ridges and it came to her that it could be a J’naii, so it was possible that it wasn’t a she or a he, but a ne. Unfortunately this detail didn’t explain why ne was behaving like that.
Kivik entered the medical bay stepping gingerly over the molten steel floor panels, following the confused pointing people along the trail of shadows. None of this had been in the travel brochure. Ne was convinced if ne flapped nir arms fast enough, ne would be able to float a few feet above the ground, which would keep nem from being burned.
Kivik: ::Agitated:: Excuse me, Minister - I think there’s a bug in my soup!
Suribana: Hey, hey, calm down. What’s going on? What is the problem?
Kivik: ::Trying to communicate clearly:: I… have… a… bug… in… my… apple… soup!
Kivik pointed at nir canopy of broad leaves, where the burning throbbing feeling was. Everything was too many colours.
Suribana: Calm down, Please, get down to the biobed and we’ll see what we can do? I’m doctor Suribana, can you tell me your name please?
Kivik: ::Chuckling uncontrollably:: Yes I can - but if you want me to, you’ll need to promise to keep it a secret forever. ::Leaning in, whispering:: The bugs in my soup are too good at listening to my secrets. ::Looking down at the biobed while squirming like a worm:: Call the soup inspector, please!
((Ikaia’s Office - Medical Centre - Grand Mezzanine - Amity Outpost))
Ikaia was busy going over his reports again. He knew he was going to have to decide which vaccines to give out to staff and his crew. But it came down to which ones he was going to have to order in. This year’s strain of Kamaazerite flu seemed particularly bad in the Delta Quadrant this year. But the newest strain of Levodian flu was a close second. Neither strain seemed like something he wanted to have on this outpost at all. Ikaia flicked through to another report when he heard a noise outside in the hall. Then another one. To him, it was making quite a fair bit of noise. He wasn’t entirely sure what he was hearing. But he could definitely hear a fair bit of shouting and shuffling. Ikaia got up from his seat and put his lab coat back on. Time to investigate this madness.
He opened the doors to see Ensign Kivik and Doctor Suribana engaged in some sort of… well… it was something. Ikaia was pretty sure it wasn’t fighting. But it did look chaotic all the same.
Wong: Hey! Everyone, calm down! What’s going on out here?
Suribana: I don’t know, ne just entered and acted like this. I don’t even know who ne is.
This was good - Kivik saw the familiar tree-boy enter and knew he’d be able to take the bugs out of nir soup. This other bird-woman meant well, but ne didn’t understand the clear informational breeze ne was exhaling.
Kivik: ::Pointing to nir canopy:: Bugs in my soup, Maui! Hard to breathe through the carbon filters they installed thirty-two years ago.
Ikaia looked between the two of them. There was something certainly off about Kivik. The poor J’naii didn’t look well to him.
Wong: Wait. Is that really happening? Kivik, are you okay?
Kivik: ::Frustrated:: Don’t I seem ready for my demonstration to you?
Wong: Doctor, would you mind escorting Ensign Kivik back to a biobed so we can continue to examine nem?
oOAnd hopefully get nem back under control…..Oo
Suribana: I’ve been trying to do that since ne entered the bay!
Kivik: ::Shrugging:: I’ve been trying to do that since I entered the bay! ::Laughing:: Don’t get me started on the astronomical responsibilities of being a cactus. You’d never understand, tree-master. Too much sap in your soup. ::Pausing, trying to speak more clearly:: The coffee burns… ::Pointing to nir beak:: Need homemade soup to clear out the thought-biters.
Suribana: Please, get down here, and I’ll invite you a good coffee, a sedative or any other good stuff.
She really need for nem to calm down and get in the biobed, once there, they could start knowing what was going on and give the appropriate treatment.
Wong: Somehow, I think coffee is the LAST thing that Kivik needs!
Of course she knew that, but since she needed for ne to lay on the biobed and didn’t specified WHEN she’ll give it, the offer was good enough if it convinced ner.
Kivik felt nir roots aching. Ne was covered in dew. The desert sun was cold, but it still burned. Ne felt exhausted, ready to turn to mushrooms. The bioebed looked comfortable, but it was surely covered in bicycles that would not let them sit comfortably.
Kivik: ::Speaking in nir native J’naii language:: Trinaar fust gal’ek minaar. ::Tearing up:: J’keir glin rann.
Suribana: Do you know this individual?
Wong: I do. That’s Ensign Kivik. But this behaviour isn’t normal for nem. Usually, ne’s a lot calmer than well… ::Gesturing at Kivik:: ...this. This is seriously off.
Suribana: Ne’s in a delusional state, but ne seems to recognize you. Maybe you’ll have better luck getting ne down. I’ll prepare the scanner from the biobed for toxins and a neural scan.
Ikaia had an idea. A smile crossed his features. He knew Kivik well enough that ne had a sweet tooth that rivaled his own. He was pretty sure he knew EXACTLY how to lure Kivik to a biobed.
Kivik looked at the tree-man and started to think that maybe ne just needed to climb. There were good hand-holds and branches. Maybe ne could reach the canopy better that way. Just as ne was considering jumping onto the tree and climbing for the sun, he spoke about the precious worldsap.
Wong: Oh, Kivik~! Do you want to come with us? There’s marshmallows and all kinds of goodies involved if you do.
Suribana: You told me about coffee and you offer sugar?
Kivik didn’t need any further invitation. The Tree Master was offering the good stuff and ne simply needed to clamber aboard to take the train to flavour town. Ne jumped onto Wong and clung to him like a Went’aii trunk lizard.
Kivik: Take me to the good soup!
Ikaia yelped in surprise as Kivik started climbing him like a tree. He was NOT expecting that! Clearly the promise of sugary treats worked.
Wong: Gah! Whoooaaa! Ah! Hello, Kivik! Ah er… Ahem! Sugar really doesn’t have an impact on hyperactivity on most humanoids. I’ve seen Ensign Kivik consume sugary substances without impact on nir hyperactivity levels. It’s a safe bet! ::He tries to readjust himself so he can at least bring Kivik to a biobed:: A very safe bet!
Ikaia started walking over to the nearest biobed he could find. He made sure to replicate some marshmallows along the way.
Kivik suddenly placed nir hand on nir chin and began pacing, as if an investigator on a case.
Kivik: The boy may have a point, Minister. If we can just convince the bugs to vacate the soup, we might be able to cool the sun and solidify the desert floor. A little sap would be a welcome break from the scalding judgements of the trees. ::Hopping onto the biobed:: BRING ME NEW SOUP AND ALL SHALL BE WELL!
Ikaia felt Kivik jump off of him and onto the biobed. Finally, he could get the science officer to cooperate! He passed Kivik only half the marshmallows to keep nem occupied.
Suribana: oO Finally Oo Okay, now I need you to stay calm while I work on the… bug problem.
Wong: And I think that’s about as calm as we’re going to get nem at the moment. Now we can start the exam. If you don’t mind chatting nem up while I scan nem, I think that would work well, doctor. Let’s see what ne tells us…. If we can make sense of it.
Something was tugging at the back of Kivik’s memory. Some fact about the history of this forest of cacti growing in the desert sands that would be relevant to the case. The Minister and Maui might be able to help water the plants if they only knew about the soup-bugs. This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened in the history of the universe.
Ikaia had a few guesses as to what might be causing the J’naii’s sudden madness. At least one of his candidates was the aphasia virus. But he wasn’t sure. He pulled his tricorder out of his lab coat pocket.
Wong: Kivik, I’m just going to give you a quick scan. You can have more marshmallows after Doctor Suribana and I are done, okay?
Kivik looked at the tree-man with big eyes. He spoke words. Words of the wondrous white sugar berries. Kivik stuffed one in nir mouth and began slowly chewing.
Kivik: ::Mouth full of marshmallows:: Thath sounth powiticawwy unthtable…
Suribana: Tell me, what is that … soup you have problems with? Is there something relative to you?
Kivik: Yessss…. The one that’s here ::pointing at Suribana:: is getting it. The soup ::pointing at nir ridged forehead:: is too hot… and there are bugs in it. ::Stuffing another marshmallow in nir mouth:: Thith ithnt the firtht time thouww! Many times before this the ::switching to J’naii:: trinaar fust gal’ek minaar.
Suribana: Oh, so this is something you’ve experienced before?
Kivik shook nir head. The others weren’t understanding nem. Ne could feel the world spinning around nem, careening out of control. Everything throbbed with painful colours.
Kivik: ::Pointing to nir head:: Bugs in the soup make the bowl spill. ::Pointing to nir mouth:: The spill makes the floor hot and melty. ::Pointing to Ikaia:: The tree-man can navigate the desert and make the sky rain to cool down the floor. ::Pointing to Suribana:: Does the Minister concur?
Suribana: So, you’re confident that doctor Wong will find out what’s happening to you and give you the cure.
As Kivik and Suribana were talking, Ikaia started scanning. So much about the J’naii was relatively undocumented outside of their homeworld. Ikaia thought that they were at least lucky as to what was available in Starfleet databases. He at least had access to some medical information including a complete atlas of J’naii anatomy. But he at least built a small chunk of that database with some of the past scans and check ups on Kivik. He was grateful for those baselines at least. Especially now when he could see something was clearly wrong.
Kivik’s core body temperature was off. He could see that from his scans already.
oONe’s burning up. That’s a nasty fever! Clearly ne’s fighting off an infection.Oo
Ikaia narrowed his eyes at the scans that were coming up.
oONir’s sinuses are absolutely swollen and eugh…. Full of mucus. With the complexity of Kivik’s nasal anatomy, it’s pressing on nir’s brain a little bit. Huh… in short, ne’s DEFINITELY going to need a decongestant and tryptophan-lysine distillate. That might alleviate the pressure in there…. Ah… Oh. Oh no….Oo
Ikaia’s eyes widened at the scans. He did NOT like what else he was seeing. He finally looked up from his tricorder.
Wong: Doctor, can I speak to you for a moment.
Suribana: Of course…
As the two medical officers stepped away for a moment to discuss, Kivik lay back on the biobed and stuffed the last marshmallow in nir mouth despite the fact that the world spinning was beginning to make nem feel sick to nir stomach.
Kivik: ::Groaning:: The roots need water…
Ikaia passed the last of the marshmallows to Kivik.
Wong: Here you go, Ensign. You’ve been good enough to get the rest of the marshmallows!
Kivik accepted the offered marshmallows without moving, allowing them to rest in the palm of nir open hand while staring blankly at the ceiling.
Kivik: ::Groaning woefully:: Plant me in the garden when I’m rooting…
At least that would have been a good enough distraction while he and Suribana could speak out of earshot. He quietly moved with Suribana away from Kivik while still trying to keep an eye on nem.
Suribana: ne seems affected by something that’s making nir hallucinate. Something’s affecting nir brain.
Wong: ::Whispering:: Likely you’ve noticed it too, but we have a problem.
Suribana: What is it?
Wong: ::Still whispering:: The pressure in Kivik’s sinuses are pushing up on nir brain a little. Unlike many other species, a J’naii’s nasal anatomy has a near direct connection to nir brain giving them a quicker processing time when it comes to smell as well as extra receptors. Definitely rivals my Klingon sense of smell. But anyways, this is what’s causing some of Kivik’s behaviour which means we’re going to need some decongestants. Good ones. Ne’s also likely delirious as well. But as bad as that sounds, it gets worse.
Suribana: Worse? Something life threatening?
Kivik: ::From across the room:: If you don’t want to go outside, why are you wearing a coat, you cold-blooded reptile, you?
Wong: ::Whispering:: We are likely dealing with this year’s strain of Levodian flu one month and a half earlier than anticipated. We don’t have the vaccines ordered for that yet. I was going to put in the order today before this happened. In short, we’re caught with our pants down here. None of us are vaccinated against this.
Ikaia took another glance at Kivik. Considering how much the J’naii had climbed over him and was making a ruckus around Suribana, they were both at risk for infection.
Suribana: So, what’s your treatment of choose?
Wong: I can still order in the vaccines from here. It will take a few days to get here from the nearest medical starbase and get everyone vaccinated against this strain. But right now, we’re going to have to treat Kivik’s symptoms as well as monitor ourselves over the next 29 hours.
Another glance at Kivik and already he could see Kivik’s antics starting up again. Ikaia sighed.
Kivik had stood up on the biobed and begun bouncing wildly, as if it were a trampoline. Ne looked like some sort of crazed marsupial.
oO29 hours. 29 hours of this. Unbelievable….Oo
Kivik suddenly felt tired. So unimaginably tired. For a moment, the J’naii thought ne was back in the Asgard Spa on the Thor - only the steam room had malfunctioned and a thick fog had filled the air. It was so hot and humid and ne could barely see or hear anything.
Kivik: ::Momentarily lucid:: It’s really foggy… Can’t explain… ::Gripping nir head:: There’s so much soup - no, pressure - in here. Can’t think…
Ne sat down again on the bed, clutching nir head and tucking it between nir knees. This feeling was familiar. It had happened before, when ne was a sapling oO no - a child Oo in the desert oO no - on J’naii. Oo It wasn’t unheard of for bad soup bugs oO infections Oo to cause trouble like this. Brain fog, dizziness, delusional behaviour… only it was far more common in children. It was something nir people referred to as “trinaar fust gal’ek minaar” - the ramblings of sick children.
Lieutenant Ikaia Wong PA-C
Chief Medical Officer
Ensign Kivik (ne/nem/nir)