Light's on but Nobody's Home Part III
Location: Starbase 945
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The away team lead by Lieutenant Lance was finally able to open the airlock to the Command Hub. It had been more difficult than getting through previous air lock because the doors had been welded closed from the inside.
In the Command Hub there were a dozen corpses in various reposes of death. Some had clearly committed suicide by shooting themselves, other by less violent means. All had similar evidence of desiccation that Kevin had seen in the first body he had encountered.
While Doctor Relor checked the dead bodies with his medical tricorder, Kevin posted the two junior Marines at the airlock and direct the other two to start gathering status reports from the computer stations in the Command Hub.
"All of the bodies exhibit various stages of dehydration," Doctor Relor announced, "more pronounced in the ones who did not shoot themselves."
Kevin nodded, "Can you access the medical computer from here?"
"I should," Feyd shrugged.
"Do that," Kevin asked, "See if you can recover any records about what is going on. I am going to check the C.O.'s Office."
Feyd saluted mockingly to Kevin's back as he walked toward the CO's office and began accessing the LCARS. He accessed the medical logs and started reading log entries for the days leading up to the day the Starbase went silent. Curiously, there were entries after they stopped communicating with Starfleet. Reading further, Feyd got more and more horrified.
He turned to Natasha. "Look at this." He said, pulling up the CMO's notes. "It looks like the infected knew they were infected, and willfully spread it among the rest of the crew. So I'm looking for something that affects the amygdala." He changed a few settings on his tricorder and scanned one of the bodies, but didn't find what he was looking for.
He sighed. "Looks like I'm going to need a live one."
The door to the starbase commander’s office opened without needing to be manually cycled. A bit surprising but Kevin suspected that the commander did not fear from the crew members that had assembled in the command hub. The automatic lighting in the commander’s office was subdued and it took a moment for his eyes to adjust after the brightly lit command hub and corridors. The room appear normal but as Kevin circled around the desk, he found the prostrate corpse of a female Starfleet officer on the deck. Commodore Smith, Kevin suspected.
In one hand the officer held a phaser set to heavy stun. On her temple was the unmistakable burns caused by a close range phaser shot. In her other hand was a standard Starfleet PADD. Based on the position her body, she has been sitting behind her desk when she shot herself. Kevin reached across the chair to access the computer terminal on the desk, while trying not to disturb the dead body.
The last command and personal logs posted by the Commodore were dated more than two weeks ago and after that, nothing. Kevin replayed the final log but it had been corrupted in such a fashion to not yield any usable information aside from the Commodore’s awareness of something affecting the crew. Nothing in the log entry lead Kevin to believe that the Commodore intended to take her own life.
He tried to query the Commodore’s PADD to see if any logs had not been pushed to the main computer but the Commodore’s PADD was not networked in. Without being networked, the Commodore’s PADD could not access the main computer or any of the base’s communication functions. Disconnecting from the network was possible but highly impractical, but the date of disconnection was the same as the last logs on the main computer.
Kevin looked at the PADD in the Commodore’s dead hand. The investigator in him was reluctant to disturb the body but he needed to check the PADD. He took the device from the Commodore’s grip and activated it. It immediately opened to the Commodore’s home page with requiring authentication. Another standard procedure that the Commodore had bypassed.
Additional command logs were posted to the PADD. Kevin opened and played the final log entry. The image of an exhausted Commodore Smith was displayed. “Commander’s Log, Stardate 23509. We have been unsuccessful in attempting to reactivate the replicators or any of the communication equipment. Several of the command crew have taken their own lives rather than allow themselves to succumb to dehydration. We are able to keep the infected out of the command hub by welding shut the airlocks but I know that we will all be dead before help can arrive.”
“The infected have shown great persistence in opposing our efforts to halt them. By physically deactivating or sabotaging critical systems, they have render us blind and mute. We have been able to receive transmissions from the USS Mitzi and could see the slow demise caused by this infections but were unable to warn them or anyone else. We have lost all communication with the USS West Wind so I hope than their attempted isolation has been successful.”
“I have deactivated all network connections to this PADD in hope of preserving the few records of the infection that I was able to prevent from being deleted or corrupted. I hope that whoever finds this PADD will be able to stop this infection. Smith out.” The Commodore’s image disappeared from the PADD and was replaced by a list of large files that occupied a large portion of the device’s memory storage.
I need to share these with Commander Relor, Kevin thought. After saying a brief prayer for the soul of the dead Commodore, he stood and walk back into the Command Hub.
Feyd and Natasha walked down the corridor together, each watching in a different direction. After some time, the came across a man in Starfleet Medical blues, shambling instead of walking. "Remember, heavy stun, six shots should do it." He muttered, and started firing. Six blasts later and one more for good measure, Feyd leaned down and ran the Medial Tricorder over his still conscious body, and finally found exactly what he was looking for.
Lieutenant Lance found them then, a frown on his face. "Doctor, I found something else."
Feyd waved his hand distractedly, as if whatever he had found was irrelevant. "As I suspected," he said, as if he hadn't heard Lance's comment, "it's a virus that attacks the Amygdala, traces of a genome I've seen before, if slightly variant. I should be able to synthesize a cure. Get this body, and get us to Sickbay. Now."
"That's got it." Feyd said, presenting a hypospray as if it were the holy grail.
He pressed it to the neck of the crewman on the biobed, disabled but still conscious, and waited. It took a few minutes, but the glaze left his eyes, and he rasped something unintelligible, the first time they'd heard any of the infected try to communicate. Feyd leaned closer. "What was that?"
"Water." The crewman repeated.
Feyd ignored him. "We need to get this into the environmental system so it's pumped into the atmo. That should reverse the affects in anyone still alive."
Kevin consulted his PADD. "The environmental plant is located near main engineering," he announced, "How long will it take you to replicate enough antidote to cover the entire station?"
"Less than an hour." Feyd replied.
Kevin nodded his acknowledgement. "Lance to Covitchka," he announced after tapping his comm badge. The awaited reply was not forthcoming. Kevin tapped his comm badge again, "Lieutenant Covitchka, please respond."
Kevin looked to the Marine squad leader who tried to raise the Marines with the engineering officer. He shook his head to indicate a lack of success.
Checking his phaser rifle, Kevin activated his comm badge, "Lieutenant Lance to Independence. We have a potential counter to the virus but have lost contact with Lieutenant Covitchka and her team. We are moving out to reestablish contact."
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