Malcolm rolled his sleeve back down, “Porthos!" he suddenly cried out, “Poor thing."
"He'll probably be in the captain's quarters,” Phlox suggested, “Here,” He handed Malcolm a shot, “One-eighth of the human dosage of potassium carbonite. And bring him and his dog bed here. I'll put him somewhere."
Malcolm ran to the captain's quarters.
"Let's begin by looking at the students' projects,” Phlox said, “In case there's been any contamination. Perhaps that's the cause of all of this."
T'Pol read off the labels, “Mumps. Anthrax. Herpes Simplex. Ebola. West Nile virus,” Pamela's little infectious pet, “The seals all appear to be intact."
"Very well. Let's take samples and test them against the Lieutenant's blood. See if there are any antibodies. And also, here, let's take a sample from two patients. One advanced, one not, and see what happens when they're mixed with Reed's blood,” Phlox said.
T'Pol moved an IV aside and began to draw blood from Ensign MacKenzie.
Malcolm got to the captain's quarters in record time. The door was locked, “Security Override Code
. " he gasped, “Reed Gamma nine oh nine
The door slid open.
There was a whine and a bark, and Porthos, all eleven kilos of him, wagging and wiggling and licking in doggie greeting.
Malcolm bent down and petted the dog, “Thank God you're all right, little chap,” he said, “Come with me,” He remembered at the last minute to take the dog bed with him. Porthos trotted behind him as he walked back to Sick Bay and then changed his mind and changed course. The Bridge made more sense. He clicked open his communicator, “I have him,” he said, “And he is all right."
"Interesting,” T'Pol said, “Mr. Reed, did you experience any symptoms?"
"Yes. We suspect you had the disease that's afflicting the remainder of the crew. But you somehow recovered from it."
"Hmm. I felt some heat, well, I felt warm at times. But I attributed that to other things,” he admitted.
"Thank you. T'Pol out."
Malcolm made his way to the Bridge, Porthos in tow.
"Here's where it's becoming difficult,” Phlox admitted, “We've tried everything we can think of, but without a database, we're down to almost random guesses."
"The symptoms are flu-like in nature. Except for the dermatological issues that some of the crew are experiencing."
"Any number of human diseases can manifest themselves with what are referred to as flu-like symptoms. It's almost a catchall. Coughing – both productive and dry, sneezing, body aches, congestion, watery eyes, fever."
"Most of the crew had fevers, including, possibly, Lieutenant Reed,” T'Pol pointed out.
"That only narrows it down to a few thousand,” Phlox shook his head, “If we could throw another person at this problem, it would be a bit easier."
Malcolm got to the Bridge and put the dog bed down next to the captain's chair. He tried out the chair for a second, but it was set for someone taller than he was and, certainly, not for him. He felt strange, “No. This is wrong,” he said to Porthos, who did not answer, “This belongs to your master."
He then walked over to the helm. Not comfortable there, either, and the readings were confusing. He managed to steady the helm and get the Enterprise
going at full impulse. Warp drive seemed to be offline. It would be very slow going to get to the Ti’Mur
, but at least they were moving a little bit.
He went over to his station, and saw warning lights flashing just as he got there. This was not good. He clicked open his communicator, “Commander, I, I need you here. Right, right now. My apologies, Doctor."
"On my way."
Ambassador Soval shook his head. There seemed to be no way to reach the Enterprise
. He requested that the Ti’Mur
accelerate to maximum warp.
T'Pol arrived quickly, “What seems to be the trouble?"
"Here. I think I can get this on the screen,” Malcolm fiddled with the controls at Hoshi's station, “There. Klingon Battle Cruiser. Coming in fast. Take the helm."
She did as requested, “Have you a plan?"
"Not really,” he admitted, “Tactical is working perfectly but we can't exactly get out of the way quickly or call for help. Hull plating is polarized. Torpedoes are armed."
"Can we communicate with the other vessel?"
"If they come close, I believe so."
"Then let's opt for a diplomatic solution if it can be achieved,” she suggested.
The other ship barreled in and stopped, close. A proximity alarm was tripped. Malcolm turned it off.
They hailed the Enterprise
. T'Pol got the message on screen, and then returned to the helm.
"This is Captain Lorgh of the Imperial Klingon Battle Cruiser Somraw
. Surrender and prepare to be boarded,” Lorgh coughed a few times. A couple of female Klingons behind him chased after a male Klingon.
Something was not right. Except for Lorgh, none of the Klingon Bridge crew appeared to be at their posts.
Malcolm sprang back and cut the sound, “Now what? They won't exactly show us mercy."
"A fire fight is not going to help,” T'Pol stated, “And the Ti’Mur
cannot get here on time. Surrender is likely to be our sole option."
"There's also suicide,” Malcolm said, “It's really a matter of no survivors versus, at best, three."
Back on the Somraw
, it was louder than usual and the crew was running wild. Lorgh had neither the stomach nor the strength to deal with it. He switched communications, “Keleth!" he yelled into the console, “You have your orders."
Malcolm put the sound back on. He and T'Pol looked on the screen, and saw the Klingon Bridge filling up with a sand-colored gas. Klingons were falling all over the Bridge – Lorgh included. The screen switched to a scene of a sole Klingon, an elderly male. He said, menacingly, "This is Keleth of the Imperial Klingon Battle Cruiser Somraw
. Surrender and prepare to be – oh, to Stovokor with it,” His tone changed, and was quieter, “I am Chief Medical Officer Keleth. Your Bridge is nearly empty. You must have the disease as well."
Phlox titrated samples and tallied up his notes as he went along. It was respiratory, sort of. Dermatological, kind of. Definitely a virus and not a bacterium. Reed's blood was no cure, although it did kill the virus when the two were mixed in a controlled experiment. But that didn't work in a test subject, and besides, Reed had B positive blood. Even if his blood did work, it still couldn't mix with that of over half of the crew. He kept working.
"Perhaps,” T'Pol answered.
"It is ... it causes a kind of madness. Somewhat like Balt'Masor Syndrome but not exactly. My Medical Database is nearly completely gone; I have little to compare it to. Can you – it is not our way, but our way is going to mean a dishonorable death to all – can you assist? It is of honor for me to ply my trade and do all I can to save my shipmates,” Keleth said.
"We will consider it,” she replied, “Stand by,” she broke the communications link.
it?" Malcolm asked, “What's there to consider?"
"Those people are dying, just like our people are."
"They're Klingons!" he said, “And we're supposed to find them a cure while Pa– everyone here is so terribly ill?"
"An additional medical officer would be of help to Dr. Phlox and myself,” T'Pol said.
"If they weren't sick, they'd be firing upon us!"
"I – no – that does not fit in with Klingon logic. Klingons value honor above all else. They would consider it dishonorable to simply run roughshod over a ship full of dying people unable to defend themselves properly."
"I'm in command, and I say not to cooperate with them."
"Mr. Reed. By your own statement, you have said that we will share in the decision-making. Does that remain your intention? Or have the rules changed?" she asked.
"I – we'll, we'll vote on it. Let's call Phlox."
They explained the situation, “I don't see an alternative,” Phlox said, “Particularly since you were seriously considering surrender before this. It troubles me that perhaps the Klingon disease is transmissible to any of us, but I have my doubts about that. The physiology is simply too different, which is also why this human infection has not jumped to either Commander T'Pol or myself. Plus that ship seems to still have warp drive, albeit no one here can read Klingon or pilot such a vessel. It still may be of use. I say we cooperate. Now, if you'll excuse me. Phlox out."
"Well, I don't like it,” Malcolm said.
"Your objection is duly noted,” T'Pol replied, “But we cannot make this decision based upon emotions."
Reluctantly, he reopened the channel, “This is Reed to Keleth. I – we – we will share whatever we know. It, it isn't much. And we don't believe it's the same affliction."
"Probably not,” Keleth allowed, “Human, I am curious. You are on a human vessel. Yet you are unafflicted. I presume you are the only one of your species who is. Do you know why that is so?"
"No,” Malcolm said, “I could say the same for you."
"Ah, I am easy to explain. I have been locked into Sick Bay Quarantine for two days. I got in here just as the malady was beginning to affect the crew. My captain ordered me here for the duration. And now it is the duration and I am in here and they are all out there,” His voice had an edge of desperation to it.
"Can you explain the gas?" T'Pol asked.
"Ah, Tricoulamine in vapor form."
"Tricoulamine?" she asked, “That's a nerve toxin."
"Not to Klingons,” he explained, “It is a means of creating a close approximation of stasis. But it would affect me as well. I would pass out, too, if I went outside of Quarantine without a pressure suit. I am trapped in here. It is not a good way to die."
"I see,” she said.
"Even our food animals are knocked out,” Keleth added, “A Klingon ship this quiet is not – it is not something I had ever thought I would experience." He sighed a little.
Malcolm cut the sound again, “I suspect he hasn't eaten in a few days."
"You are most likely correct."
"I – we would not be able to watch him constantly. I would still have to be here."
"True,” she said, “But another medical brain tackling the problem would be a major form of assistance. Not to mention a gesture of extreme good faith."
"Let's ask Phlox,” he clicked open his personal communicator, “Doctor, how do you feel about a little company?"