Christmas Gifts and Medical Matters (RP Log)
|20 Mar 2014|
- Captain's Stateroom [Cabin 5F01] [USS Jean-Luc Picard NX-87200]
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- The Captain's Stateroom has been modified and slightly expanded to serve as the mobile residence of an Admiral and her family or retinue. The quarters are composed of four main rooms, the first a large receiving area for staff or guests, with low, comfortable couches and lounges set about tables for informal dining or work. The artwork, which included statuary and paintings, is rather diverse, from all ages and cultures, though all seems to center around motifs of the natural world - with outliers that hint at the admiral's eclectic taste. Beyond this area is a smaller room for intimate dining - a small table set for four, often lit by a cluster of candles at the table's center. Off of this room is a genuine kitchen, a rarity on most modern starships. Connected to the main sitting area are two rooms, one on each side - a large master bedroom with a bed and a stunning window, and an office where the admiral can conduct her work in the privacy and comfort of her quarters. Other 'touches' give this room the feeling of a well-lived in home - PADDS, journals, and genuine books scattered about on every table, it seems, and in the many bookshelves, and holophotos of various people - and places - in frames on desks and upon the walls.
The decorations are still very much up, and there are a few new pieces of art, including a lovely framed painting of the Picard, in orbit over Trill, and other new gifts about. Moriah looks up from where she's sitting on the couch with a warm if tired smile. "A belated Merry Christmas," she says, motioning him in. "There's coffee in the kitchen if you'd like some." There's also a few plates that still have some cookies on them.
Entering in uniform, Senka looks every inch the Vulcan science and medical officer you have joint custody of with you're friend Aly. That is, he looks every inch the officer, save for the small, gift-wrapped box in his right hand. The paper is a simple gold and green design, and there's no name on it, because is the Vulcan really likely to forget who it's going to? "Moriah," he murmurs. "Because you are the reason I chose to commemorate this Terran holiday, logic suggested that you receive a small token from me. I hope you will find it acceptable."
Seryl beams. "Oh, Senka, you didn't have to. And just because I think I'm bound to say it, it's not like this will help with any promotion." She stands and goes to the bookshelf, and removes a small, rectangular package, simply wrapped in blue embroidered fabric and tied with silver ribbon. "I may have gotten you a little something too," she says as she hands the gift to him, and takes the gift he's proffered.
"Because you, as a non-Terran, celebrate the holiday," Senka murmurs, obviously wishing to explain, "I deemed it not at all illogical to participate in a day which is marked by gifts that commemorate friendships." He takes your teasing in stride and answer it, "And I realize that my gift shall do little for my promotion prospects, though you might recall my medical treatment of you when promotion comes." He's obviously teasing back. Finally, he looks from the gift in his hand to the one in yours, his eyebrow ascending to his hairline. "I am aware of no protocol for this, but I believe you should open yours first."
Seryl chuckles as she sits back down, motioning for Senka to do likewise. "Non-Terran who seems to like living among them and marrying them," she adds. "And yes, fixing quantum level degradation will probably help more, but this might be a really good present." She slides the ribbon down and opens the box.
"In the box, you find a flat metallic disk that you would recognize as a personal holoprojector, the kind used for displaying static images. Activating it, you would see that it's a holo of Illy. She stands alone on the bridge of the Enterprise, wearing her commodore's insignia. Her hair is swept back in a severe regulation cut that has a hint of Rihannsu styling to it, and her expression somehow manages to be haughty and welcoming. She looks like every inch what she is, a proud Romulan, and a battle hardened Starfleet officer."
Seryl takes out the little disk, and sets it in her palm, activating it. She gasps softly at the image. "It'...Gods and Prophets, it's a perfect image of her," she says. "Where did you get the image capture from?"
"I do not believe I have violated any regulations, though the scene is only partially genuine. I took the image of her from her publically available service record, possibly the last time it was updated when she was promoted to commodore. I took this image, ran it through computer enhancement to clarify some details of her face and uniform, and then transposed it from its original neutral background and onto a background of the bridge of NCC1701G. It is the last place I saw her, and I wished to put the image into a visual context. I hope it is meaningful to you given our conversation."
Seryl smiles softly and nods. She has many such holos, of friends and loved ones now distant, or much farther gone. She still wonders if one day there will be a letter at Spacedock, waiting for her. "This is very meaningful. Thank you so very much," she says. She turns the little holo off, holds it in her palm. "Go ahead, open yours."
Senka opens the box. You may notice him mothodically unfolding the paper rather than ripping it. Sliding the lid aside, he lifts out the bound volume. "Theorums on Cosmological Topography," he sight translates the Trill script right off the cover. "By Jezzer Seryl." He turns the book over in his hands. The feel and look of the pages prompts him to ask, "Moriah, how old is this edition?"
Seryl smiles and runs a hand through her hair. "Twenty years younger than me," she says. "But see, you won't even need a translation matrix," she says, with obvious pride. "The science is a little dated but...it's one of the things I'm most proud of, even still. And I can't think of anyone better to have it." She pauses. "And no, I didn't steal this from a museum on Trill, in case you're wondering. Though it's technically mine, if I did."
For a moment, he can only look at you. "You honor me, Moriah Seryl," he says finally and in your own language. A beat. "I thank you, and you are quite correct. I should be able to read this with moderate ease."
Seryl chuckles. "A bit of light reading," she says back, slipping into a much older dialect for a moment that still, at least, is the language of the capitol. Her smile remains, but her eyes grow a bit more serious. "I'm usually not one to bring up business on such a pleasant call, but the treatment. We haven't been able to discuss the delivery mechanism yet."
Senka nods. He replies in Trill without seeming to be aware of it. "Your objections to Borg nanoprobes notwithstanding, they would not be the most effective delivery mecahnism. I believe that a tailored retrovirus would answer, however." He has a pretty good idea what the word virus in any language does to the listener, and he goes on to explain. "Retroviruses, as you know, reverse transcribe RNA into DNA. In this case, I have tailored the virus in question so that what it produces at the end of the process is your own undammaged DNA. It targets the defective segments of your DNA and begins to rewrite that code, leaving undammage segments be. The final result, at least in lab tests, is perfectly healthy DNA."
"Gods and Prophets," Moriah mutters, and she pushes herself to her feet. She walks into the kitchen, and you hear a clinking of bottles and glasses, and then silence. A long, awkward silence. Finally she coughs and takes a step into the sitting room. "Was...I getting you a coffee? Or me a coffee? I - I can't remember coming in the kitchen, much less why I came in."
Senka crosses to you, having set the book on a side table. "I will get us both one." Slipping gently past you, he rustles around in the kitchen and returns, a mug in each hand. He says nothing at all about what you were actually doing in the kitchen, though a shadow of concern lingers in his dark eyes.
Seryl taps her fingers against the table as she takes out her little notebook. "Oh, and I know this is a social call, but maybe...present lapse excluded...we should discuss this delivery mechanism?" She chuckles darkly. "Though I have a feeling there's some sort of nanoprobe involved."
Senka nods. He replies again in Trill. He patiently repeats what he said earlier, word for word. "Your objections to Borg nanoprobes notwithstanding, they would not be the most effective delivery mecahnism. I believe that a tailored retrovirus would answer, however." He has a pretty good idea what the word virus in any language does to the listener, and he goes on to explain. "Retroviruses, as you know, reverse transcribe RNA into DNA. In this case, I have tailored the virus in question so that what it produces at the end of the process is your own undammaged DNA. It targets the defective segments of your DNA and begins to rewrite that code, leaving undammage segments be. The final result, at least in lab tests, is perfectly healthy DNA."
Seryl nods slowly. "I'm familiar with retroviruses. Would it be a dual retrovirus, to affect both of us? I know the - the - oh Gods, I know how this works. I do." She keeps her palms flat on her thighs, fingers curled. "Sorry. I didn't know that part of my memory was...defective."
Senka nods. "It would have to be. Perhaps two retroviruses given at two different times, one for you and one for the symbiont."
Seryl nods. "Did you...see how my last host died? When we melded?"
Senka nods. "Yes, Moriah. I did see."
Seryl lets out a sigh. "Then you know why I'm not completely comfortable with the nanoprobes." She looks up for a long moment. "But I'm even less comfortable with not remembering, somedays, the equations in that book. Or what I worry I'll forget."
"We will not utilize nanoprobes, Moriah," he says gently.
Seryl looks up at him. "If you can find another way, then wonderful. But if those damned things are the only means to a cure then...." She notices her hands are shaking slightly, and she has to take a moment to quiet the terror and helplessness rising from her memories. Because of course she hasn't forgotten those yet. "Then use them. I'll manage, somehow," she says, trying to will the tremor in her fingers to stop.
Senka has been sensing your terror even from where he sits since the conversation started. There's only one thing to do for it, and because it's you, he does it. Kneeling in front of you so that he's at eye level, he lays one hand briefly over your face. The meld is not meant to give or receive information, and it's not a deep meld. You feel his mind working on the raw terror he senses in you, suthing it and projecting waves of calm, certainty, reassurance. The overall message is a basic, "You will be ok. I will see to it."
Seryl clings to that calm - it has just been too overwhelming, dealing with illness and living a not at all completely functional life - that the control she would normally have regarding Tulus' assimilation and her own joining is thin. She joins her own strength to his reassurance, and after a few moments, she has a semblance of calm. "I think, no matter how oddly matched we seemed, Kyle and I...we seemed the only ones who knew what it was like. What to do when the other one would wake up screaming, or in a cold sweat. Thank you for...reminding me of what I think I knew."
As you take hold of your memories and bring things back under some control, Senka lowers his hand, still right in front of you.
Seryl takes in a deep breath, looking at his outstretched hand. After a moment she clasps it in her own hand, in an almost human grip, her touch cool, almost icy.
Senka squeezes your hand gently. His own grip would probably feel very warm to you since his body temperature is several degrees higher than, say, Terran normal. He takes the opportunity the physical contact affords to reassure your mind wordlessly a final time.
Seryl takes a deep breath and finally breaks the grip. "Thank you again. I'll be down to the station in a few days. After the New Year? And then we can figure out where to go from there."
Rising, Senka nods. "Understood," he acknowledges the implied order. Taking up his book, he takes a moment for a final personal act. Picking up the little metallic holodisk from where you set it when you left for the kitchen, he presses it gently into your open hand. "Good night, Moriah." His fingers rise to his temple in that gesture he learned from you ... either so long ago or yesterday.