Star Trek Hunter
Episode 9: The Library
Scene 1: The Scumuk Virus

9.1
The Scumuk Virus

"Seriously - that's what they're calling it? The Scumuk virus?" Dr. Tali Shae's eyes widened and her antennae flexed upward in dismay and anger.

"Well, no one has come up with an official name for the virus, so that's what the bolians and even Star Fleet Medical are calling it," said Dr. Jazz Sam Sinder. "Oh, Dr. Shae, I have some news. Dr. Klox developed a test for the early stage of infection. It does not rule out the possibility of a false positive, but the chance of a false negative is very low."

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The medical team, the executive staff and the ground operations team were gathered in the large surgery. The executive conference room was not large enough to support a meeting that included nearly half the crew.

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"We will not be using that name," said Justice Minerva Irons. "It is bad enough that the greatest doctor and most decorated officer in Star Fleet history is ending his career in ignominy and madness. We will not add insult to injury by allowing his name be used for a bad pun."

"What do we call it?" asked Dr. Jazz.

"Following the end of this meeting, you have one hour to figure that out," said Commander David Pepper. "Give it a name that is descriptive without being insulting and push it out to Star Fleet Medical for approval and official designation."

"We'll take that as a departmental assignment," Tali Shae concluded. "Did they preserve any of the Admiral's notes before they destroyed the Atul Goel?"

Lt. Tauk had been coughing very quietly since the beginning of the meeting. He allowed himself a single, louder cough, then said, "They preserved everything. Dr. Klox downloaded the entire ship's memory core, all of the medical records and all of the logs into a secure, non-transmitting computer on the quarantine unit before giving the self-destruct order. His people have been transcribing logs by hand into another computer - they have plenty of work left to do. But we have already learned a few interesting things. T'Lon?"

2nd Lt. T'Lon took up the narrative. "We had a number of questions and Investigator Buttans has been in contact with Dr. Klox to obtain some of those answers. First, it was Admiral Scumuk who removed Dr. Boles from the Atul Goel's roster. Investigator Shran has been following up with Dr. Boles and put together his itinerary since arriving on Paleonus V. Ensign Tolon and his team have been going over the information gleaned from the P5 research stations - Dr. Klox was able to fill a lot of gaps in our data about those research stations, particularly the disease progression. Hunter - display the history."

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In response to T'Lon's request, a holographic display of Paleonus V appeared at the front of the room. As the planet turned, each of the research stations was identified and popped out. The planet faded, leaving a simple grid depicting the 14 research stations as individual, white boxes.

T'Lon continued. "Dr. Boles arrived at P5'02 32 days ago by shuttle. According to his account, he was given a hypospray unit and instructed to inoculate himself against potential local pathogens, but not to take the injection until after disembarking the shuttle." As the assistant director of ground operations mentioned P5'02, the holographic box depicting research station #2 changed color from white to dark blue.

"That is a fairly standard precaution to avoid potential exposure to shipboard crew," said Dr. Sif.

"But only used in cases where highly contagious and fast growing pathogens have been documented," Dr. Chrissiana Trei countered. "And no such pathogens have been identified on Paleonus V."

"Dr. Boles said he was warned about a new virus being spread by the bite of a small insect," said Lynhart Shran.

T'Lon picked up the narrative again. "Dr. Boles transported from P5'02 to P5'12, then spent the next 29 days walking across the continent from P5'12 to P5'11. He had his communicator turned off to save power. The staff at P5'02 and P5'12 were the first to get sick. But not before some had transported from those stations to P5'03, P5'04, P5'09, P5'11, P5'13 and P5'14." The boxes depicting research stations #12, 3, 4, 9, 11, 13 and 14 each changed from white to dark blue as T'Lon mentioned them. "Staff in those stations got sick and declared a planet-wide quarantine and emergency. While no personnel made any further transfers, they did transfer medical data from their scanners. Within a few days the virus was detected in all the stations. That's when they put out an emergency call to Star Fleet Medical. But Dr. Lana Eto, one of the human survivors from P5'14, felt that the crew from the Atul Goel were acting strangely. She had served with Commander Pepper on the U.S.S. Archer…"

Pep looked up in surprise. "I remember her. I was a 2nd Lieutenant at the time. She was a researcher, sweet kid. But she was only on board for a few weeks. I suppose I should put in a call to her."

"Evidently you made an impression – she was the one who put in the emergency call to us. Apparently she had kept up with your assignments," said T'Lon.

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Dr. Tali Shae leaned over and said something very quietly to Justice Irons. Irons responded by rapping a table with her knuckles. "David, please take over this meeting. I will need reports from the department directors. Dr. Tali Shae and I need to put in a call to our bolian counterparts."

Irons and Tali Shae stood up and exited the surgery.

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9.1