Originally posted 11/23/2005
New Additions, New Information
(Tomilson, Tremaine, Gresseal, Varga)
Walking out of the Admiral's office both PK and Logan were silent. Of course with Commander Grey walking out with them, they really didn't want to speak too openly yet.
Looking at the Commander, PK spoke first. "Sir, we are going to return to our quarters and gather our gear. Is there anything special we should bring, other than a few medical kits?"
"I don't think so," he said. "I've already had the best portable bio-sensor gear we have available requisitioned, and it should be at the shuttle when we get there. I have a few things of my own that I need to see to, so I'll meet you at the shuttle."
"Yes, Sir." As the Commander walked briskly away, Logan and PK turned and looked at each other. Logan spoke first. "Is it me, or does this assignment sound rather strange?"
"No, it's not just you. I'm still not sure exactly what we are expected to do. All I know is we need to go pack our gear and meet the Commander at the shuttle. Make sure you bring whatever supplies you have stashed just in case. Nothing like having extra for those "just in case" moments."
Both Logan and PK returned to their quarters and began packing. They didn't know what was expected or exactly where they were going, but it had to beat sitting in a classroom all day.
PK was about halfway though packing when the chime to her quarters rang. When the door opened, it turned out to be an acquaintance from her latest Xenobiology class, a woman named Antonia Varga. "PK -- is everything okay? You and Logan got called from class and never came back. You're not in any kind of trouble, I hope?"
Stopping what she was doing PK sat on the edge of the bed and looked at Antonia. "No, nothing's wrong.... at least I hope not. As for trouble you know it usually follows me around."
They both laughed at that one. It was true, trouble did have a way of finding her regardless of what she did or where she went. I guess that's what makes life interesting. "I'm sure I didn't miss anything exciting in class now did I?"
Antonia grinned, "Actually it was getting boring in there. You know how the old blowhard can keep going and going and going and saying nothing. So... come on. Spill the beans, what's going on?"
"It would seem that Starfleet is creating DarkBio teams to go and help other ships or stations with whatever problems they are having. Logan and I are being sent to help with the medical departments as well as investigate anything new that crops up. I just thought of something!" She looked at her friend and grinned.
"What? Get that stupid grin off your face."
"I was just thinking that if Admiral Nogura approved you might want to join us, since you are one of the better Xenobiologists in that class. Unless of course you don't think you can handle the challenge? Besides, it's myself, Logan and Commander Grey. I am surrounded by testosterone. Never mind, you wouldn't want to leave the dull life you have here at the Academy."
PK knew she had her hooked. She could see it in her eyes. Now it was just a minor matter of getting the admiral's approval. After all she wasn't in charge of this team, Grey was along with the admiral.
"Commander Grey? You mean Gresseal? Wow, that's a surprise that they are making him part of a Dark Bio team. You suppose it's one of those canary in the coalmine things?"
PK looked at Antonia, "You know Commander Grey or as you called him Gresseal? Do tell me everything. I don't think that they plan on using him or any of us as a stupid canary in a coal mine. Besides that was in Earth's history, hopefully we have moved past all that. Why is it such a surprise, is there something I should know about this Gresseal?" PK continued to pack her meager belongings into her duffle. "So you never did say if you were interested in joining the team or not? You know you want to so do it. Add some excitement to your life. Don't leave me hanging with the boys."
"No worries there," Antonia said. "Give me just a second and I'll transmit my request to the Commander right now." She turned to the comm-panel on the wall and patched through a message as PK continued to pack. After a moment, she shut down the connection and said, "He is fine with the idea, but needs to check with Admiral Nogura. He'll get back to us within the hour.
"Now then," she said, dropping into PK's only chair, "I'll explain what I meant about the Commander. Gresseal isn't Terran. He's Gideoni. Remember Gideon, the planet way out in the Delta Dorado sector? There are no natural pathogens there -- no germs! So the Gideoni don't have any natural disease resistance."
"No natural disease resistance at all? How have they managed to survive this long? A simple cold could kill him if he indeed has no natural resistance. Frankly, just about anything could kill him or the rest of his kind."
This is too bizarre, thought PK. A race with no natural disease resistance. How could that be possible, especially in this day and age? "OK, Antonia. You don't just waltz in here and tell me that the man responsible for shuttling us from place to place could catch a little pathogen, that wouldn't hurt you or I, without explaining more. I know you are dying to spill your guts so I suggest you do just that. I want to know what the hell I am getting into before I leave Earth."
"Well, I've always had a thing for history. One of the first things I did when I got to the Academy was read the reports of the Enterprise's missions -- especially her first tour under Admiral Kirk's command ... of course he was still a captain then, but --" she caught PK's impatient glare and hurried on.
"The Enterprise was the first Federation vessel sent to Gideon, after the Gideoni had contacted the Federation by subspace. Like I said, they had no natural pathogens there. No one understands how that could have happened, but because of it, the Gideoni had very long lives, and their population had grown to cover the entire planet -- it was in the hundreds of billions. They kidnapped Captain Kirk and used some of his blood to infect people with Vegan coreomeningitis. They say nine-tenths of the population died back then." She shook her head. "I'm sure Commander Gresseal has been given all the inoculations that Starfleet has available to it -- it just still seems a bit strange that they'd send him on a mission like this, you know? Who knows the minds of admirals?"
Shaking her head, PK looked at Antonia. "No idiot in their right mind would send someone who essentially has no immune system out into strange and mysterious situations. I don't care how many inoculations they have had. There is always the chance of encountering something new that Starfleet in its almighty wisdom hasn't developed an inoculation for. That is just plain stupidity. Not to mention dangerous."
PK just started to pace around her quarters. She couldn't believe she was about to go on a mission with a man who was a potential bomb waiting to go off. One wrong microbe and he could die. Did they expect her to solve all the problems? Logan is going to flip his lid when he hears this! "Maybe I should rethink going on this mission. What do you think Antonia? You seem to know all about Commander Grey. What else are you not telling me?"
"That's all I really know about his background, honestly. The only thing is, although he might not be immune to most germs we are, where we'd be going ... we're bound to run into things that none of us are immune to. Beyond that ... I don't know. Maybe you should talk to him yourself."
"Perhaps you are correct. I don't like the idea of going into this 'new' mission without knowing all the facts." Tapping her comm badge PK called Commander Grey. "Commander Grey this is Lt. Tomilson, if you have a moment could you please meet me. I think we have something that we need to discuss before this mission takes off." Now we wait and see!
The reply was prompt. "I'll be at your quarters in a few minutes." And in fact, the chime rang in less than five. When he entered, he smiled at both PK and Antonia. "I have a guess as to what this is all about, Lieutenant, but please -- what is it that's bothering you?"
PK was slightly stunned when Commander Grey thought he had a guess as to what her inquiry was about. She was going to get the facts now, before she left on this mission. "Commander, it has come to my attention that you have no natural immune system and what immune system you do have is from whatever inoculations you have been given. Is this true? If so, how can you agree to ferry us around from place to place and risk coming into contact with a contagion that we have no inoculation for? To me this is highly dangerous and unacceptable. It is also not fair at all to you."
Gresseal smiled, leaning against the corner of PK's desk. "Your concern for my welfare is both kind and commendable," he said, and it sounded as if he really meant it. "It is not quite true that I was born with no immune system whatsoever. If all of we Gideoni had none, then none of us would have survived the Great Dying. And since I chose to leave Gideon to join Starfleet, even my relative lack of immunity has changed to a considerable degree.
"I've been in Starfleet for seventeen years, and throughout that time, I have worked closely with the medical staff to develop my immune system to a degree where it is on a par with most humans. It hasn't been without its price, but I am at no more risk from unknown pathogens than you are. If this still disturbs you, I can refer you -- as well as Drs. Tremaine and Varga -- to the staff who have attended me over the past few years here at the Academy."
"I hope that I haven't offended you Commander, but I also hope you can understand my concern for your safety on these missions? If you have no objection I wouldn't mind talking to those who took the time to work with you on developing some sort of immunity. Even if they could just send me files to read while enroute on this mission."
PK looked back and forth between Antonia and Grey wondering if she hadn't stepped out of bounds. Sitting in a classroom right now sounds pretty good. But, that is not the case and I suppose I will have to deal with what I am given. Oy Vey!
"Believe me, I've taken no offense, Lieutenant. As I said before, your concern for my welfare is most kind -- and your concern for the mission as a whole is commendable. I will contact Dr. Lawrence and ask her to forward the relevant files for your review."
His comm signaled and he held the receiver near his wrist to one ear. "Yes, thank you sir," he said to the unseen person on the other end. "She's here now -- I will let her know. Gresseal out."
He smiled as he turned back toward PK and Antonia. "You'd better get your things together too, Dr. Varga. Your request has been approved." He straightened, giving a brief glance to the chrono on his other wrist. "I will see both of you -- and Dr. Tremaine -- at the shuttle bays in four hours."
"Thank you again Sir." PK watched as Commander Gresseal walked out and then she turned to Antonia. "I didn't get much more information than I had before, but I suppose if Starfleet thinks he is safe to travel who am I to argue. As for you Ms. Varga, you best get your hiney in gear."
Smiling Antonia looked at PK and simply replied, "You love having me around and you know it." With that she walked out of her quarters and made her way to her own. Looking around her own cabin PK shook her head. She had just gotten it the way she liked and now she was uprooting herself.
Tapping her comm unit she called Logan. "Logan, we have fours hours to get ready before we meet Cmdr. Gresseal at the shuttle bay. Damn that is a hard name to say. Oh, Antonia will be joining us."
Logan was already packed, neat freak that he was. Listening to PK he sighed. "Antonia is going along as well? This should be interesting. See you in a few hours."
PK and Logan both arrived at the shuttle bay within minutes of each other. "Have I got news for you, but you will have to wait until we are on our way."
"PK, that's not fair!"
Laughing she just looked at him, as Antonia arrived with more bags than PK had seen in some time. "Got enough stuff there girlfriend?"
"Be prepared, isn't that the Boy Scouts motto?" She grinned.
"I hope we have enough room for all that, Dr. Varga," Gresseal said, stepping out of one of the nearby shuttles. "I see everyone is here. Shall we begin?"
Logan and PK both laughed. "I think we may need an extra shuttle just for Antonia's stuff. I think she brought everything but the kitchen sink?" Antonia just stuck her tongue out at PK and started to take her bags onboard.
Logan took the chance to get next to PK, "OK, what is this news you have to tell me? You know how I hate secrets."
Smiling PK remarked, "I know." She then started to load her bags and equipment on the shuttle as Logan followed suit.
Once everything was loaded PK, Logan and Antonia boarded the shuttle. This was going to prove to be an interesting mission.
Story logs are posted here.
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