((Starbase Ops - Chief Medical Officer’s Office))
Alora was not exempt from medical appointments - and now, she was going to have them more regularly. The first thing to do was to check in with the Chief Medical Officer. Idly, she wondered what he would say. It was not the normal situation - and she had yet to really explain it to anyone outside of those who had direct experience with what had occurred. Her situation was...not normal, to put it mildly, and delicate. Normally, she would have made her appointment with one of the other doctors available on the base, but because of her condition, she had been directed to seek out the Chief Medical Officer himself.
As she approached, the doors parted to let her in. She had made an appointment, so he was supposed to know that she was coming. Stepping through, her eyes fell upon the Andorian, his white hair a stark contrast with his blue skin. Immediately, her lips curled up in a smile - her standard greeting. DeVeau: Good morning, Lieutenant Commander Alora DeVeau reporting.
Wyn snapped his head up, antennae coming to attention. He was a slight man with sharp features that seemed at home with the dim, cool, eclectic office which was quite full of interesting stuff. A color-changing lamp that released a soft mist sat on a shelf behind them, a collection of odd collectibles adorned the office, licenses were hung up behind him - medical certificates, diplomas, a tribble breeding license. A few pictures. A fluffy feline… thing lounged on the back of his chair and the whole office was filled with the gentle coo of tribbles.
At the sound, Alora perked and attempted to contain a squeal of delight. As it was, it managed to squeak past her lips, a hint of a peep skipping through despite her attempts. Tribbles! What was it about the critters? She could not say, but they were absolutely adorable! Tribbles here, tribbles there, tribbles, tribbles everywhere. Already she liked this man.
Foster: Good morning, Commander. How can I help you?
For an Andorian he had a very Terran accent and a very Terran style of speech - which did match his very terran last name. So it did all fit together in a strange way. He offered a smile back to her - again an odd expression for most Andorians who tended to do the majority of emoting with antennae alone. His antennae instinctively curled forward in the pose of greeting while his face offered a more traditional, Human smile. Most species found him quite expressive, though some Andorians were turned off by what they felt was over-expression.
DeVeau: I’m here for my physical, but it’s probably best you check my file. You’ll need your security clearance to access certain information.
Oh, there was a black tribble! Idly, Alora wondered if the commander named them. What would that one be called? For her, she might go with something traditional like Midnight, Ebony, or Kuro. Then again, she might go with something less obvious like Snuffy or Lemony Snicket, or maybe even Snugglepuss. She stood there, pondering the Naming Of Tribbles, when the commander spoke, probably because she was just standing there, staring at the balls of fluff.
Foster: Please ::he waved his hand:: Have a seat in the comfy chair. Pet a therapy tribble if you like.
DeVeau: I will, thank you!
Which one, which one? Oh, why not Blackie? Okay, definitely not an original name, but oh well. Alora gently scooped up the critter and plopped down into the seat. Offering him scritches, she wriggled and giggled as if she were about twenty years her junior. DeVeau: Too adorable. How many do you have?
Foster: Four… and then one crazy hybrid creature.
That would be Triberius, the Terran feline spliced with some tribble DNA created by Liani who was part doctor and mostly mad scientist; who had retired from Starfleet to breed exotic pets - tribblecats among them. Triberius was her first truly genetically stable success and he ended up as Wyn’s long term companion.
DeVeau: What are their names?
Maybe George. George might be a good name.
Foster: The one you have is Sammy, the orange one is Lydia, the black and white is Tux and the white longhair is Silky. And this jerk ::he thumbed towards the tribblecat:: is Triberius. He’s the only one with an attitude.
That was certainly due to the fact that he was more cat than tribble and it showed.
DeVeau: Tribblecat? A cross between a tribble and a cat? EVEN BETTER!
Alora REALLY wanted to pet Triberius, but he didn’t seem to be in the mood, so she stuck with Sammy.
While she petted the tribble Wyn pulled up her file, scanning the information within.
Foster: So, what am I looking for here?
DeVeau: Please, keep reading.
At first, Alora’s file seemed standard. There were the usual specs, her history from the time she entered the Academy up until her time on the Veritas. The next set of files, however, required Wyn to input his security clearance.
A wall of text flew over the screen as the information was accessed. In it, details about classified experiments involving tachyon particles were somewhat vague, but not what the consequences were. An accident had affected Alora DeVeau, causing her cells to move back in time. In essence, if left alone, Alora would essentially continue to move backward until she got younger, and younger, and eventually, she would regress until she no longer existed.
DeVeau: I have daily injections. They help stop it, but they don’t cure the problem. As Chief, obviously it’s good for you to have that information.
The little blue man gave a low whistle to that.
Foster: I do not envy you for this condition. ::he shook his head slowly:: I will certainly monitor it as closely as possible.
Alora didn’t envy herself, but it could have been worse. A lot worse. Surely someone would eventually find a way to fix it.
DeVeau: And hey, if you find a cure, I’ll forever be in your debt.
Wyn Foster figured that such an unusual medical affliction was one of those things that came as part and parcel of Starfleet service. He had seen some pretty unusual - even pretty terrible - medical conditions come out of Starfleet missions. Nijil had already warned him about some of the other crew medical issues he should be aware of.
Still this was a tantalizing medical mystery with a life attached to it in need of saving. Of course he was curious.
Foster: Well, I’m certainly curious about the condition. I can’t say that temporal regression is my specialty, but I’ll see if I can isolate the cellular data and get an expert opinion without it being attached to your file.
A single eyebrow arched upward. Did he have resources that could help? Surely Starfleet knew about them - but there were also many other issues they had to deal with. Also, the more eyes on this the better.
DeVeau: Not your specialty, but you have some experience?
Wyn shook his head very slowly. Medical mysteries were more of his dad’s forte - his dad and certain science officers he knew of on and off station. He would start with on station. His own skills were aimed directly at the meat and potatoes of surgery itself.
Foster: Actually I’m a microsurgical specialist, so if someone else can find a really clever cure I have the skills to implement it. But I do need an outside expertise with temporal science.
DeVeau: I see. Well, the more looking into it, the more minds on this, the more likely this can be solved. Just so you know, I got notified that a shipment of injections is on its way. I imagine they’ll be funneled through you.
Foster: Did you have enough medication to cover past days?
His snowy brows knitted together, concerned she might have faced some adverse effects with her recent travel and reassignment.
DeVeau: I do. Going without isn’t pleasant.
That was putting it mildly. Excruciating. That was closer. Regardless, Alora preferred to avoid that.
Foster: I imagine should the dosage be lowered you could suffer unpleasant side effects. ::he frowned gently. Doctor, even grumpy little blue imps, disliked seeing others in pain.::
DeVeau: I could, yes. ::Alora nodded slowly.:: I’d rather avoid that if I could.
The man definitely cared, which made him a good doctor. The best doctors did.
Foster: I can offer some palliative medication while you rebuild the necessary dosage to stabilize the cellular degradation. It will help ease the transitional pain.
He didn’t love the idea of putting a bandaid on a problem - but this was a medical condition that he was quite sure Alora didn’t ask for and it wasn’t one that had any conventional medical answer. That meant she was doing the best she could against the great unknown. He could empathize with that far more than someone who was just putting off a surgery or not focusing on their own care. She was quite literally doing everything she could.
DeVeau: I appreciate that.
Alora tickled the tribble lightly and eyed the Tribblecat.
DeVeau: I’d /love/ to know the story behind him.
Foster: Triberius? ::He picked up the feline-tribble hybrid, which gave a faint mewing whine of protest.:: I worked with this Doctor once, Ensign Liani - she was half doctor, half mad scientist. She had a talent for genetics and a penchant for breaking regulations. We worked together, we were friends. ::He thought about that for a moment and he murmured:: We went through some hard times, crazy stuff. Anyways, she finally decided that Starfleet wasn’t the place for her, and she headed off to make tons of latinum breeding popular exotic housepets. This was one of her specialties. Triberius was her first successful, genetically stable baby.
DeVeau: Would I be allowed to pet him? He’s beyond adorable!
The little thing wriggled - Triberius had feet. He was ball-like in body shape, with tiny little stubby legs and a little poof of a tail, he looked like a tribble and a munchkin kitten had babies together. A round kitten-like face peered out of the orange puff of fur that served as his head. Wyn offered him over towards Alora.
Foster: sure. Be careful, he;s faster than he looks. But he’ll settle down if you pet him.
Gently, Alora set the tribble on the Chief’s desk, then just as gently accepted the tribblecat.
DeVeau: Well hello Triberius. How are you? You are adorable, you know that? I just want to hug you all day.
Fingers found a little spot beneath what, on a regular cat, would have been a chin and scritched. Another squeal attempted at an escape, but she managed to keep this one from doing so. Barely. DeVeau: What made her want to give him to you?
He shrugged, looking around the office.
Foster: She knew I collected things from the people I served with. I’ve amassed quite a collection over the years.
Alora’s eyes lit up, a twinkle dancing within, a mixture of delight and mischievousness.
DeVeau: Is that so? I’m going to have to remember that.
Foster: Should I be worried for any reason? ::He queried with a bit of humor.::
DeVeau: No reason. No reason at all. As much as she wanted to just sit there and cuddle with that tribble cat all day long, she had already taken up enough of the good doctor’s time. With one last scritch, she offered Triberius back to his owner.
DeVeau: I appreciate you seeing me. I suppose I should actually have a physical soon, eh?
He tipped his antennae and head forward in unison.
Foster: within the first seven days as per usual. Knowing your situation you can schedule directly with me if you like.
DeVeau: I’ll come in tomorrow then. Oh, if Triberius ever needs a change of scenery, or a playmate, let me know. My Sachiko should be arriving soon. So...until tomorrow then?
Foster: ::Wyn’s antennae twined, he didn’t know the reference at all, but figured he'd PADDsearch it later:: Tomorrow is good, see you then!
Lt Commander Shar’Wyn Foster Interim Chief Medical Officer
StarBase 118 Ops E239010ST0
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops