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Taking a Test

Posted on Tue Nov 9th, 2021 @ 4:42am by Lieutenant Commander Sawbones & Commander Ash Randall

Mission: Short Treks
Location: Sickbay, Starfleet One
Timeline: 0000-00-32, 12:00

Sawbones sat at the central workstation in the Saucer Sickbay studying the latest reports that had come in on the overall crew fitness. The results of which were, just as he suspected, less than stellar. The crew was overworked, overwhelmed, and none of them had an ending in sight. Their stress levels were through the roof and at any point the ship was destined for a catastrophic failure.

So it was a Tuesday for them.

The replica of Leonard McCoy sighed as he got up from the workstation in the deserted Sickbay and walked toward the exit. Since the evacuation and their transport to... well wherever this was... there had been not a lot for him to do. The Admiral had gotten him online, but they had kept him in reserve for true emergencies or situations in which no one else was available in the medical staff. They claimed it was to preserve as much power as possible, but he just knew that he wasn't really needed. With the ship having less than a skeleton crew aboard there wasn't a lot of need for his services.

Stepping into the surgical bay he found the stasis chamber of Admiral Luzol waiting. Looking at her vitals on the screen he hoped that the mission to Cold Station 12 revealed at least some new fangled piece of technology that could help her because they were at their limits with her. Doctor Marner had done everything right, and Admiral Kiala had as well, but the damage was extensive. They could only hope at this point that there was something available to help her. The brain was still a mystery in the 25th Century, maybe the 32nd had seen some of its mysteries be solved.

His matrix alerted him that a turbolift had arrived with an ordered destination of Sickbay. Sawbones knew that was his cue as Doctor Marner was off the ship. Tapping a control he walked back through the doors and into the corridor. Looking in the distance he saw the doors slide open.

"Hello, Commander, how can I help you today?"

The Chief engineering Officer of SF1 hesitated, for a second or so, before stepping through the doors and into the Saucer Sick Bay. Her original plan of restoring the LMH in the smaller infirmary in the security section, nearest to main engineering, had died a quick death as Power Distribution to that area was not stable enough nor was there sufficient power for the LMH there to be online while the LMH in the saucer sick bay was also on line. There was power to spare if they could get the power management systems stable enough to route power throughout the ship, safely. Ash had worked hundreds of hours isolating control systems with unstable, positronic, chips; tested, reset and recalibrated each chip, individually and then retested them in place to confirm each chip was 100% functional only to have them fail, at random intervals, while back in production and then test 100% functional minutes or hours later. The Tuansee was contemplating this predicament as she entered sick bay and paused, in mid step, for a few seconds to peer at Sawbones, took a deep breath and then continued his direction.

"That is what I am here to find out." The Commander responded, her tone jovial and cheerful enough even if her physical demeanor was of someone who was, beat down, and dead on her feet. "I need a confidential, private, consultation." She added, quietly.

"I can assure you that any services provided are confidential, Commander, unless shipboard safety is at risk at which point we use a controlled confidentiality protocol," the hologram answered succinctly. He picked up a Tricorder from the tray and motioned toward the nearby biobed, "Do you want to proceed?"

Ash nodded an assent while she hopped onto the indicated bio-bed and sat with her feet over the side and facing the LMH known as Saw Bones. "Three...two...one..." The engineer counted off, to herself, just before the tricorder being used by the LMH issued a shrill alarm indicating extremely, high levels, of Chroniton Particles.

The hologram looked at the readings on the small device and turned toward the nearby equipment tray, "We need to initiate..."

"It's okay doc. You can use stronger language than that if you like." Ash joked. "Its not every day you see a case of Chroniton saturation stroll into sick bay...or ever, for that matter. Captain Targaryen is, naturally, concerned about my, continued, good health." She added.

"I wouldn't imagine why," the holographic crewmember answered with a sigh. "How long has this been happening and how frequently are they occurring?"

"This has been happening since we transited the wormhole and the frequency is nearly continuous." Ash responded, quickly. "I'm experiencing the present and, generally, three seconds into the future, simultaneously. Three seconds seems to be optimal where certainty of events is concerned. Every so often, whatever focus is involved in showing three seconds ahead, shifts to six or seven seconds ahead. Uncertainty increases and I see multiple possibilities until focus shifts back to three seconds." She explained, helpfully. "I can't sleep..." She added.

His matrix already was beginning a detailed survey of medical logs and related files regarding the condition that Commander Ash was experiencing, but he was already hitting dead ends due to their inability to access the Federation Galactic Memory Bank. The holographic doctor motioned and a holographic representation of the Chief Engineer appeared before them. He started typing on the indicators next to the floating replica of the Engineer, studying the results carefully.

"You have always been a bit more contrary, subatomically speaking at least, Commander," Sawbones smiled as he pecked at the readouts. "Though I suppose you knew I was going to say that?"

"I try very hard not to answer questions before they're asked." The engineer confirmed. "I've always been temporally aware, Doc, and that awareness was generally peripheral and what you might call, instinctual...anything dangerous is the most obvious example. It was a state of temporal awareness I call 'unplugged' and that's how things were for me until my days at Star Fleet Academy. It was there I learned how to 'plug in'. My room mate was Emily Wallace, a Betazoid, and she recognized that I had Psi abilities and taught me the basics of mental discipline in exchange for tutoring her in certain subjects she had trouble with." Ash explained, quietly. "If I plugged in, I could pick a thread of possibility and follow it to see what would happen and learned to follow multiple threads, simultaneously, in fractions of a second. But, I never stayed plugged in for more than a second or two at a time in those days but, as time went on, I learned how to stay plugged in and how to shift my awareness, on the fly. Being plugged in all the time is how I earned the name nick name Crazy Cat because I would take on things that you would have to be crazy to attempt but I had an advantage in that I already knew if it could be done and how to do it." She added, with a look around the sick bay. "Anyway, an event that is so classified I can't even hint at its existence, unplugged me, what I thought was permanently, several years ago and it is only as recently as a year ago I realized I was able to plug in again but didn't. Now, I'm plugged in and can't unplug and my awareness is stuck 3 seconds into the future." She finished, with a head shake. "I hope that makes some sense to you." she added.

"The question becomes are you fit for duty while this is going on? We have limited staff and crew aboard the ship and about a million fires raging throughout her." He picked up a device from his tray and tapped at the indicators before attaching it to the Engineer's neck, "I'm going to need you to wear this sensor for the time being until we get some more data about what is happening to you. Until then I want you to rest, but knowing you you've probably moved your quarters into your office so dealing with five calamities instead of ten is restful. Still, trying not to overexert yourself this time."


"I have hung a hammock in my office as you suspected and I spend 8 hours out of every 24 in that hammock doing my level best to get some rest. I know meditation techniques where a couple hours of meditation is like getting a full nights sleep both mentally and physically but I can't seem to reach the required state of consciousness because, the moment I'm not focused on the here and now. my mind wanders to other times and places and they are not happy places, they are horrific and nightmarish and darkness reigns." Ash told the LMH. "I think I could work this out if I had a few days to focus, completely, on mastering it. Unfortunately, taking a few days off isn't an option and in answer to your question, I am still fit for duty but I have to get my head wrapped around this...challenge, soon."

Now came time for the part that none of them were going to like, "Commander, allow me to be honest. With everything going on with you at the moment I am not convinced that you are fit for duty. So, in the interim keep the monitor in place and I will keep an eye on you. If I believe that you are no longer fit, well then you know what that means."

Ash nodded. "I sure do and, to be honest Doc, it wouldn't be the first time." The Tuansee admitted. "Collect data for analysis and see what it tells you and I'll go about my business until you say otherwise." She confirmed.

"Looks like we have a deal then, Commander," the hologram answered. "And, in the interim, I've just enhanced the security of my subroutines so that you can't try to change my disposition remotely. No offense," he smiled being playful. Though it was a possibility some officers would explore.

"No offense taken, Doc. I wouldn't mess with your sub-routines without your consent, though. Doing so wouldn't be any more ethical than if I were to Manipulate the thoughts and memories of any other member of the crew." Ash replied, quietly, as if that last were actually a possibility. "If I want to try and change your mind I'll just talk to you like I would anyone else." She added. "So, we have a deal and I'll do my part." Ash finished, as she slipped off the bio-bed to leave.

The hologram looked behind as the Chief Engineer headed toward the exit, offering a reassuring nod as she slipped through the door.

[END?"]

 

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