Malcolm zipped his uniform back up, “I don't recall any illness like this. Nothing even close. I've had colds. I've sneezed and coughed of course, like anyone does. But it wasn’t as virulent. It, it certainly was not this kind of a malady."
"Hmm,” Keleth said, “Two mild cases, very, very mild. I would think – is the hip a place where injections are made?"
"It can be,” Phlox said.
"Then this is, I suspect, not a natural immunity at all. It's a conferred one,” said the Klingon.
?" Malcolm asked.
"Yes. You've received a preventative inoculation of some sort. What do you humans get for preventative shots?"
"Measles. Mumps. Diphtheria,” Phlox said, reciting from memory, “Rotavirus. Human Papilloma, but only for women. There are more, but everyone gets the same immunizations."
"Did you ever receive different immunizations?" Keleth asked.
Malcolm thought for a moment. Oh, yes.
"Doctor Phlox," Malcolm said, “Might I have a word with you in private?"
"By all means,” Phlox grabbed his PADD.
They walked out into the hallway, “What is it?" asked Phlox.
"Doctor, I cannot say much. I am bound to reveal, well, to reveal nothing. I don't relish telling you this but I think it's necessary."
"There is a – if you look at the original Starfleet Charter, Article fourteen, you'll, you'll see what I'm talking about. Sorry to be so indirect, but I must."
Phlox looked on his PADD, “Section, section. Hmmm. Section thirty-one. Is this it?"
Malcolm nodded very, very slightly.
"Lieutenant, we will, for the record, this conversation is not happening. Can you say anything?"
"I was given some shots. More than the others got. To, to protect me in the event of, of, a microbe or virus or something being, uh, becoming weaponized."
Reed nodded, “My thought is, perhaps this is a weaponized virus of some sort."
"Weaponized indeed,” Phlox shook his head, “With the database in shambles, this will still not be easy. Still, perhaps there are historical records. Humans stopped doing this a long time ago, yes?"
"Over a century ago, I believe. Not a very pleasant or proud chapter in our hist'ry."
They returned to Sick Bay.
"We have a possible plan of attack. A better one,” Phlox said, “I will look at historical records. Mr. Reed has been conferred certain immunities that come from, from historical medicine. I am unable to disclose more information about this."
"I am all right with you not coming clean with me,” Keleth said, “But her?" He indicated T'Pol.
"Later, perhaps. I don't know,” Phlox said.
Reed shook his head, “Let's not stand on ceremony,” he said, “I can look in the historical records as well, while I'm on the Bridge."
T'Pol and Phlox went back to their investigation.
Keleth got up and walked a lot closer to where Pamela and Blair were lying, “Human females. Hmm."
Malcolm suddenly didn't want to go to the Bridge quite so quickly, “Doctor?"
"Oh, yes. They are too delicate. This one is getting worse, see?" he showed Malcolm where Pamela was starting to get a few bumps on the side of her face.
"They, they make us better people,” Malcolm said, a bit defensively.
"Oh,” The light dawned. Keleth said, "These are your
"Just one of them,” If she really was his.
"Which one? Light skin or yellow hair?"
Malcolm rubbed his shoulder. It did still hurt a bit.
"Body aches?" Keleth asked.
"No. I, I strained a muscle."
Keleth looked down at Pamela, “Ah. I was young once. These are, though, a Klingon male would break them in half."
"Good thing I'm not a Klingon male, then.”
Keleth clapped Malcolm hard, on the back and laughed a bit.
Malcolm was taken a bit aback and had the wind knocked out of him, “Doctor, if you please. Let us focus and get on with, with it!"
"Hu – Reed, I think elliptically. I approach a problem, then I turn away, and I come back again from a different approach. It is – you may disagree with the method but it does work for me."
Malcolm said, "I, just. I feel it's urgent. We shouldn't fool 'round,” He took Pamela's limp, cold hand in his. The back of it was bumpy and a bit reddened.
Keleth looked at him, “It, it kills you to not be able to really help much."
"I don't think it would be prudent for me to discuss such things with you, Doctor Keleth."
"Then I will tell you,” Keleth said, “I have four daughters. And my third, Arizhel, when she was born, my wife, L'kor, well, both of them, they developed a raging infection. It nearly killed the both of them. And until I knew the problem and how to treat it, I was, I was not a pleasant man to be around. It tears at you if you cannot fix things."
"I, yes, it does."
"And now I have things I cannot fix."
"With, with Pamela? And the others?"
"No. In my own house,” Keleth said, “My wife is paralyzed from the waist down. And I cannot fix that. And it rips me up like you are being ripped up now."
"Maybe we're not meant to, to fix everything,” Malcolm said, “Maybe you're just supposed to be with her, even if you cannot make it all go away."
"I will not take life advice from you, Reed,” Keleth said, straightening up, “And you are supposed to be on this vessel's Bridge, yes? Leave me to my work,” Keleth said gruffly.
Dr. Keating-Fong sent out a message via her PADD:
Dear Dr. Hudson,
As you know, your father was sent home from the Green Mountain Medical Facility for hospice care. He has passed. You are not obligated to take the next series of tests if it will be too much for you.
On a personal note, Pamela, please do not feel obligated to finish your schooling on time. Go and be with your family.
Dr. Bernardine Keating-Fong, MD, PhD.
Funny, it didn't go through.
continued at high warp.
Malcolm sat on the Bridge. The Somraw
was close but not a threat. Both ships were slowly, slowly moving toward the last-known location of the Ti’Mur
He turned on a PADD. He went to Search and typed: Search: Weaponized diseases: historical. 140,000 records. Search: Weaponized viral diseases: historical. 12,800 records. Search: Weaponized viral diseases: historical. Dermatology. 1,000 records.
He scanned through. Tularemia. Hemorrhagic fevers. Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis. HIV
Another one. He clicked on some pictures and cringed. He clicked open his communicator, “Doctors, I may have, I may have found something."
Phlox said, "I was performing a search and kept coming up with pictures of Native American blankets."
"Blankets?" T'Pol asked.
"Yes. A primitive form of germ warfare."
"You believe that is what this is?" asked Keleth, “Interesting. That could assist me with my people as well. There is a very old and shameful part of our history when that was done. It is dishonorable to hide behind microbes and unseen viruses. You should look your enemies in the eye before you strike them down. Germ warfare is the very nadir of cowardice."
"We feel the same way, more or less,” Malcolm said, “Doctor Phlox do you see what I have seen?"
"Yes,” Phlox said, “It appears that a cure was not developed, but the immunity comes from – and it is ironic when it comes to you, Lieutenant – it came from a much milder affliction that was observed in dairy maids."
"Dairy maids?" asked Keleth.
"Yes. They milked cows hundreds of years ago,” Malcolm explained, “It’s somewhat ironic, considering my aversion to dairy."
"That is correct. And in the late eighteenth century, a British doctor, Edward, uh, Edward Jenner," Phlox read off his PADD, "noticed that dairy maids would get a mild disease called cow pox. But then they were immune to a much more deadly disease. The, the cow pox disease is properly called vaccinia
. From it, the word vaccine
is developed – it's, Hoshi would find this interesting – it's derived from the Latin word for cow, vaca
"And the more virulent malady?" T'Pol asked.
"It's called variola
Malcolm did a quick search, “Smallpox."