Earth Time: Mar 25 13:56:22 2376
Star Time: 53229.0 07:54:29
Main Sickbay <Deck 16> [Gibraltar Station]
The Main Patient Ward of Sickbay is an ovular room, wider at the aft than at the fore. The main door is in the aft wall, and directly to its right is a wall unit with receptacle for PADDs and a low counter upon which are arrayed fluid suspension modules. Against the starboard wall, next to the counter and receptacle, is the first of four biobeds, each in its own tiny alcove, heads to starboard, one by one to the aft wall. The biobeds are bluish gray, with a shimmering multicolored blanket on each which can keep a patient warm when necessary. At the head of each bed is a small monitor and a gray chair sits to the left, or aft, of each bed. To port of the main door is a large white display panel, beneath which is a counter supporting a variety of medical instruments. In the center of the room is a single biobed, bluish gray like the others, with that same blanket, but boasting a surgical support frame that creates an arch over the middle of the bed. The frame can be opened to allow patients to be moved if need be. Port, there is an alcove leading to an office and the Med Lab. Fore of this is a large bio display which can show the readouts of any patient in the ward. Fore again, there is a door leading to the Second Ward, next to which is a small utility cart and another counter with fluid suspension modules beneath a wall receptacle. The room is lit both by a large assembly over the central bed, which is in actually a sensor cluster meant to aid medical procedures, and also by lighting panels in the rest of the ceiling. Alert tracers line the wall above each biobed.
(There is a reason that the Main Sickbay of the station cuts such a large swath through Deck Sixteen. It contains a primary treatment area, an ICU, obstetric facilities, pathology labs, research facilities, and, of course, a morgue. It is in this somber chamber that Omtala has marshaled her attention this day. Two of her senior doctors have overseen the stasis fields and preparation of the bodies. Terrorists no longer, they lie upon their backs with lifeless eyes gazing to the ceiling and the eternity only the dead can see. Sterile red sheets cover them tastefully.)On her entrance, Omtala steps over towards the sanitizer and steps into the small booth to endure the hum and tingle as her body is swept of pathogens and errant particulates. Its only then that she selects a mask and gloves. "Where do we stand?" She inquires of the doctor closest to the door. "Just waiting for you, doctor." A nod is given in reply. "Commander Volchenkov expressed his desire to watch. I expect he'll be along shortly. We'll start with Man'Gath."
And as for the mentioned Volchenkov, he steps in looking rather thoughtful, as he moves to a spot where he can watch the proceedings quietly. "Let's hope nothing explodes this time," he remarks, a bit lightly.
The doors to Sickbay open and an Antarean man comes through dressed in the garb of an Embassy staffer, covered with a medical smock. He looks around the room and targets Omtala, heads for her. "Good morning. I am Doctor Granith. I was sent by Ambassador Katsulock to oversee the autopsies." He glances to the Antareans lying on the bed and a frown comes to the man's face. "It seems I arrived just in time."
Omtala glances back towards the doors as the Antarean doctor enters. "Sanitizing booth is over there, doctor. I was just beginning the preliminary scan of Man'Gath." Officer no longer, certainly not 'life,' the body is observed with a dispassion bordering on Vulcan save for a wry commentary. "Let's just hope that there are no surprises hmm?" She activates the examination scanners and begins the sweep at the feet. Upon the wall, a cross section displays which is revealed centimeter by centimeter. "Scan of Antarean Man'Gath begun at the lower extremities. Initial display reveals no physical abnormalities." The monotone offered to the medical recorder.
Volchenkov watches carefully. Both the autopsy happening, and the Antarean doctor, that's studied rather carefully.
Doctor Granith heads to the sanitizing booth and returns, still frowning at Man'Gath. "It really is a shame, all of this, but I am curious to know what caused these deaths." He stands near enough to watch but not get in the way.
The scan goes slowly; the doctor appears to be nothing if not meticulous. As the sweep continues up the thighs, Omtala gives a nod to the attending doctor and he takes a sectional tissue sample and blood sample. "Nothing so far." She offers with a hint of frustration in her voice. Despite the wartime concerns of conspirators and spies, it is always a difficult thing discovering one in the midst of it all. She continues into the torso where another series of samples is extracted from the main body cavity and intestinal fluids. "We all share your concerns, Doctor. Peace often comes at a heavy price. Heavier still is the cost of war. We'll get to the bottom of this." As the scan nears the base of the skull, she pauses. "Hello there. What have we here?" She keys a second scanner and a three dimensional image of the spinal column and region of the medulla appears. "An implant of some sort. Chemical or electrical I'm not sure."
"You and me both," Volchenkov replies to the Antarean doctor, before he goes quiet, remaining as a watcher for now.
The Antarean Doctor's frown is turned on Omtala. "An implant?" He leans closer to the screen, narrowing his eyes. "That looks to be mechanical in nature to me."
Omtala shakes her head. "I mean the method of induction, Doctor. There are two ways to manipulate brain patterns, traditionally. Electrically and chemically. Do I have your permission to remove the device? I'll also need to take a sample from the spinal fluids and brain cavity."
Doctor Granith frowns for a long moment, and then sighs. "You may proceed, Doctor. I will explain the necessity to the Ambassador. As... unsavory as it is, this is necessary"
Omtala nods, turning back to the body. "Alrighty, full cranial scan. I want to know precisely what this thing is made of. Particular attention given to the atomic makeup of those devices. If you catch anything biologic or exothermic, I want to know about it." She moves over to a console and waits for data to start streaming. "There is a third possibility but the likelihood is slim. I expect these devices were implanted to prevent the revealing of information." Turning her head from the display, she inquires, "You wouldn't happen to know the statistical appearance of psionic talent in your species would you?"
The doctor looks up at the ceiling. "While our people have plenty of folktales about such things, we've never had any certifiable psionics that I know of. We get the occasional crackpot claiming to be able to read minds, but proper scanning techniques have always proven them to be misguided or lying."
"Good to know." Still, Omtala pays close attention to the results displaying before her, the mid brain examination proving a lack of development. "No explosives or pathology, doctor," the attending announces. "Very well, roll the body and prepare a scalpel." Which takes all of a moment or two. "I will say this, doctor. What I just saw on that readout is not what I wanted to see." Ominous, yes, but she is beyond answering questions just now. A laser scalpel is placed into her outstretched hand and a careful incision is made at the base of the skull. "Attached to the cerebellum is a device that is unique to the Borg. There is the hope that it is replicated technology. If that's the case there are perhaps six people in the Federation with the expertise to do it. That's the good news."
The doctor looks stunned. Well, what other sort of reaction is one going to have to such a revelation. "And the bad news?"
Omtala replies casually, as an incision is made and a tissue splitter is applied to open the wound for a visual. There, a small square metallic device is affixed to the cerebellum. "It could be original." Forceps in the left and scalpel in the right, Omtala separates the device and places it gently in a petri dish held by the third doctor. Moving away with the device, she leaves the pair to take the cranial samples.
Doctor Granith shakes his head. "This is... not what we expected to find. Is there any way this could have been what caused their deaths?"
"Certainly. A termination impulse could be given by an outside source. The device is capable is manipulating a full range of nervous function. It could be programmed to halt heart or lung functions. To say nothing of simply overloading cranial synapses." Omtala moves to a smaller station with a precision scanner and sits before it. "What I'm looking for now are signs of Federation influence. If I can't find any, there is hope but it will take Sciences to find it. Specific metallurgy will identify whether the metallic isotopes used are native to the delta quadrant among other things. I don't have to tell you that this information is classified, Doctor. You're welcome to inform your superiors that medical evidence has revealed that the officers in question were under outside influence and will likely be exonerated and given due honors as Starfleet officers."
Doctor Granith nods. "Naturally. My government may want a more complete report but there are channels they can go through for that." He frowns down at Man'Gath. "What did you get yourself into?" he mutters.
Omtala seems quite focused on the device before her, her studious expression turning dour as data displays before her. "Shall we attend to Harleugh?" The specimen receptacle of the scanner is locked before she leaves from it and moves to th second man.
The other doctor nods and moves over to the second bed.
The examination proceeds, and after the doctors find the same thing, the Antarean nods. "I've seen all I need to see here."
Omtala sees the Antarean to the door after extracting the second chip before tapping her chest. "Omtala to Hawkins." The naturally energy she exudes serves her well in this case. A few eyes flit her way as she hails the Captain.
The compin responds: "Hawkins here, go ahead?"
Omtala lowers her voice. "Captain, do you have a moment? There's a concern with the lodge about the environmentals. Apparently, it's too cold."
"Too cold? That's... odd. Certainly, I can talk. Where would you like to meet?" Hawkins sounds vaguely amused.
Omtala begins walking for the turbolift. "Your office viable?"
"Of course. I'll meet you there."
Though not terribly spacious, this office is well-appointed and comfortable. The central feature of the room is the smoked glass desk, trimmed in oak, which sits with its longest side facing the door. There is a small terminal atop the desk, as well as some personal items of the occupant. Behind the desk is a light maroon swivel chair, well-cushioned with comfortable armrests, and in front are two smaller copies of this chair for visitors to sit in. To the right of the door is a light maroon couch with a small white table set in front of it, above which is hung an artist's rendition of Starbase 247 in orbit of the planet below. The couch is large enough to easily hold three people. Behind the desk and chairs is a small cherrywood shelf upon which various items of art have been put on display. The right side of the room is a curved wall dominated by tall windows that look out onto space. To the left is a small door that leads to a washroom. Next to this is a small replicator. The walls are paneled in maroon and the carpet on the floor is a matching color. Lighting panels line the upper junction between walls and ceiling.
Hawkins is sitting at her desk and gestures as Omtala enters. "Have a seat, doctor. What's this all about?"
Omtala is looking particularly grave as she enters. A curt nod of polite greeting is given before she sits. "Suffice it to say there's nothing wrong with the environmentals. Even if there was, I'd pester Tremar." Her brows crouch on her forehead in brooding poise. "I have... news. Regarding the two officers involved in the bombing. I have completed the autopsies."
"I figured. What's so dire that it requires such roundabout efforts?" Hawkins leans forward a bit, obviously interested.
"Borg technologies. Specifically, a cranial implant akin to their own behavioral modification chips," Omtala begins. "Bad as that may sound, its not an original chip. Up side, no fear of a Borg invasion. Down side, there are..." She counts off on her fingers. "Seven, including myself, with the kind of expertise to design and implant a chip of this nature. Two of them are Vulcans that I've met at the VSA on a conference on Borg technologies. I imagine I can extend a line of professional inquiry to them if you desire but these chips tie in straight to our own coded frequencies. This whole thing smacks of SI or someone trained for it."
Blink. Blink. "Starfleet Intelligence does not use Borg implants in its operatives. At all. Ever." Sounds pretty sure of herself, the Captain does. She reaches up to rub at her temples. "Let me guess... the chips were used to control these men somehow?" Hawkins shakes her head. "Thank you for bringing this to me, doctor. I'll want names of everyone who can manufacture these chips. Forward everything you have to Admiral Crawford as well as myself. And... no. No one else, for now." She pauses, peers down at a PADD on her desk. "You have exquisite timing, Doctor."
Omtala lifts a brow. "Captain, I can't tell you the kind of implications we're talking about here. These conferences bring in specialists. Its a tight knit community. We all have our pet projects. But none of these individuals are without influence. You're looking at Shelby's unit definitely Commander Kelso I've met twice personally. Four of these people have a trio of doctorates. If one of them has lent their expertise to this you're facing a genius level intellect. Obsessive natures. Even T'Lit... I don't care how dispassionate she claims to be. Some of these people are motivated by deep emotional scars. I'm not an alarmist by any means but I can't tell you I'm not frightened by this. Suffice to say, I had the attending doctors sign off on confidentiality. Including the Antarean observer."
Hawkins nods. "Good. Excellent. This entire thing is classified. I... dear God. Borg technology?" She sighs, closes her eyes. "I'm going to have to cut this short, doctor, but I assure you, I will look into this further as soon as I can."
Omtala rises reluctantly from the chair. "Of course, Captain. In the meantime, I'll see if I can't locate everyone. I'll try to do it quietly. Attendees at conferences, postings, that sort of thing." She moves to the door and glances back. "I'll talk to Solvek. See if we can't reverse engineer this thing. Find a foil."