(( Shuttle B’Hala, en route to Kellshir Medical Center, Tibro ))
Serala: He’s … dead Toryn. My … husband is … dead.
She had no idea where they were headed, but her best friend was there and she felt safe enough to let her tears roll.
Raga: I know. I wasn't there. :: His brow scrunched in a mix of anger and sorrow :: I was in charge and he died...it's my fault. I'm so sorry.
Serala knew the others were having a conversation, but her heart wasn’t in it anymore. She took solace in Toryn’s strong arms and allowed herself to grieve. She refrained from bawling, but the tears continued to roll.
Thoran: You did good back there Amuro.
McKnight: Thank you, sir. Just remind me to bring my snowshoes for the next hike.
Thoran: And Miss Maeli, thank you for going to get us. If anybody could fly in this weather it would be you.
Maeli: :: blushing at the compliment :: Thank you, Captain.
Thoran: Now, would anybody care to share why you are all wearing protective suits?
Toryn gently let her go and she started to protest, but realized he still had duties to attend to. So did she, and she began to collect herself.
Raga: There's a medical epidemic raging on the planet at the moment. It started in some ancient ruins outside the capital, but there have been several cases that have shown up inside Keibrom itself. Including several of our own people. Maeli, Logan, Journs, G'Renn, Kiax. At least are all showing symptoms.
oO An epidemic? By all the Elements, why did we ever have to come to this place? Oo
McKnight: What's the mess?
Maeli: :: coughs, more flecks of blood :: Yes. It’s affecting all of us now. You each might want to don one before we get to the city.
Serala: :: choking back sobs :: Sounds like a good idea.
Dels’an: Commander, if you could tell us what is happening in the city?
McKnight: Are WE going to be ok?
Raga: I'm not a doctor, so I have no idea but you may want to put on a suit before too long.
Maeli: :: another blood-flecked cough :: Our doctors are at the Medical facility now working on the issue. Hopefully, we’ll have some answers soon. :: Cough, cough ::
Serala: Let’s hope they do.
Dels’an: It sounds like things have deteriorated. I hope that my people haven’t been entirely inhospitable and unhelpful.
oO No, not at all. Just tried to kill you, caused us all to risk exposure to some kind of epidemic which killed my husband, a large part of our senior officers are infected. No, no inconvenience, Admiral. Just another day for Atlantis. Oo
Logan: Depends how you define entirely.. :: A chain of coughing punctuated the end of the sentence ::
Raga: We've had more than a few...issues with your people wanting to help us. It's made solving this pandemic a challenge.
Maeli: Incoming vessel. Raising shields.
The tactical training in Serala took over at the statement and her weakness of earlier completely disappeared. Time for business. She sat straight in her chair and looked at the panel, at least as best as she could from her seat. If she had to, she’d oust the Captain from his chair and take tactical command. She just hoped it didn’t come to that.
Dels’an: Well, I’m afraid that- If I might use the communications system, Commander Thoran?
Thoran: Carry on Ambassador.
Dels’an: =/\= Grand Admiral Dels’an to approaching navy craft. Please reroute to the Siriss Farmstead, retrieve the Siriss family, and return to the Sector Capitol. The 42nd Special Forces Division has gone rogue. =/\= Gatol thinks he can push his way onto the throne with his army, but the navy is mine.
oO There’s an old Romulan saying, Admiral. Loose lips sink ships. Oo
Dels’an: ...I shouldn’t have said that.
Raga: And yet, you have. Please tell me an explanation is to follow?
Maeli: They’re altering course for the farm, Admiral. :: pauses briefly :: Uh...I know there’s a whole lot more people of higher rank here than I, but … did I miss something?
Serala: Yes, Lieutenant. You did. But this is not the time for a recap. We’ll deal with that at another time.
The glare she threw at Admiral Dels’an would have killed her if such a thing were possible. All of this had been her fault. She had lured them here under false pretenses and had gotten them caught in the middle of a blossoming civil war and a pandemic which had already claimed her husband’s life and threatened the rest of the crew here on the planet.
Vase: =/\= Atlantis to away team. =/\=
oO Now that is a blessed sound Oo
Thoran: =/\= Good to hear your voice Lieutenant. =/\=
Vase: =/\= Likewise Captain. You wouldn’t believe what has been happening up here. Several Romulan ships have arrived. A Valcarian fleet has enacted a quarantine of the surface. =/\=
oO So, Revix had more ships standing by. He said they were on the way. I guess he wasn’t bluffing. The Valcarian blockade makes sense though. A bit extreme, but it does make some logical sense. Oo
Thoran: =/\= Thank you for the update Atlantis. It would seem the Valcarian government have instituted a blockade of the planet in order to prevent the spread of an illness that is rampaging the surface. Keep me posted.=/\= Commander Revix, perhaps you may care to share why several Romulan ships have appeared in orbit?
oO Because Admiral Dels’an requested their presence, sir. At least, that was his claim a few hours ago. Oo
Serala wisely kept those comments to herself though. Last thing she needed right now was more disciplinary action against her.
Revix: I am unsure as to what you’re talking about Commander. I have been here with you.
Raga: We detected them during our attempt to leave the atmosphere and contact Atlantis. Their arrival has no doubt caused the Valcarian ships to get even more trigger happy.
Maeli: Well, that’s above my paygrade, but do you think you could get them to help us run the blockade, Commander? We really shouldn’t take Commander Serala and that wounded woman into the quarantine zone and Atlantis has the facilities to help them.
Serala: Thank you for your concern, Lieutenant, but we may already have been exposed ourselves. Besides, I am not going to sit on the sidelines while the rest of my fellow officers place their lives on the line. Pregnant or not, I am still a Starfleet officer.
Thoran: Ambassador is there anything you can do about the quarantine? Even if it is just to allow us to collect supplies and equipment from the Atlantis to help treat your people?
Raga: Atlantis has, from what we've seen much better quarantine protocols and we can isolate those in most need faster with our own equipment and personnel rather than having to fight or argue for things we need because we're not trusted.
McKnight: Excuse me, Captain, I hate to interrupt...but unless the Valcarians have made an official request to the Federation or to Starfleet command directly, we are not allowed to intervene with any situation on a non-Federation world, militarily or otherwise. I'd like to remind you that doing so violates the Prime directive. Even if the ambassador asks us right here to help, we need to request instructions from above...sir.
For the most part, Amuro was correct. However, considering the death of the Valcarian Emperor and Dels’an’s position in the government, her request for their aid could be considered official request and render the Prime Directive satisfied.
Thoran: I appreciate your concerns Mister McKnight and thank you for raising them. Ambassador Dels’an, a representative of the Valcarian government, had already requested our assistance prior to our departure on the yacht. It is part of the reason why so many of our crew have become sick. The situation with Deep Space Twenty Six has also left me as the ranking Starfleet and Federation representative in the region.
G’Renn: =/\= Doctor G’Renn to shuttlecraft B’Hala. =/\=
Thoran: =/\= B’Hala here. Go ahead Doctor. =/\=
Anyone: =/\= (Responses for anyone else who wants to reply) =/\=
G’Renn: =/\= Good to hear your voice, Ja- Captain. We have a confirmed diagnosis of acute cadmium poisoning. Paint pigment at the ruins containing high amounts of cadmium has been found at the site and matches the profile of the illness we have encountered. =/\=
Serala didn’t really understand what the doctor was saying. Science had never been her strong suit. It had been … She just couldn’t bring herself to even think his name right now lest it should bring on more waterworks.
Thoran: =/\= Appreciate the update Doctor. How do we treat it? =/\=
Anyone: =/\= (Responses for anyone else who wants to reply) =/\=
G’Renn: =/\= We can get it out of everyone’s systems easily enough, but clean-up of contaminated areas will also be necessary. Now that we know what we’re dealing with, it is safe to break planetary quarantine. We are going to need access to the resources of the Atlantis for treatment. =/\=
Thoran: =/\= Leave it with me Doctor, I have somebody here who may be able to help. We are on our way to the medical center now so will touch base with you there. =/\=
G’Renn: =/\= Response =/\=
When the commline several heads, including her own, turned to the ambassador. Would she help? They were about to find out. As far as Serala was concerned, it was the least the woman could do after getting her husband killed.
Thoran: Ambassador. Our Chief Medical Officer has advised we are not looking at a viral outbreak, instead a case of acute cadmium poisoning. Would that help with the quarantine situation?
Meanwhile, Amuro had come over and sat next to her.
Serala: Hello Amuro.
McKnight: I know you know, but...I'm here for you. That's what friends are for.
Serala: :: she gave him a faint smile :: Thank you. That means a lot right now.
Hyden: =/\= Maddi to Commander Thoran. =/\=
Thoran: =/\= Thoran here. =/\=
Hyden: =/\= We discovered a Chon AI who is willing to help us, but he asked to not be deactivated. =/\=
Chon AIs. Almost as annoying as Taventa Robotics’ bots and RoLFs.
Thoran: =/\= I will discuss the matter with the Ambassador. Great job by the way. =/\=
Hyden: =/\= Yes, Sir! =/\=
Thoran: It would appear that we have much to discuss Ambassador.
oO Yes, like murder charges. Oo
Toryn offered her his shoulder again and grateful, she leaned on it. She didn’t want to think about this mess anymore. She just wanted to find her husband and mourn him. At some point, Amuro brought her a biosuit and she donned it. Once they had landed, everyone began to disembark from the aft ramp. She noticed the Captain stop and look at something and it was only then that she realized it was her husband’s body. She felt the tears welling up again and fought them down. She had allowed herself to look weak in front of her fellow officers and strangers once. She would not do that again.
Revix: If you will excuse me. I will return momentarily.