Porthos eagerly trotted along as Phlox went on his errand. Their destination was the kitchen.
Phlox rummaged around in the refrigerator until he found what he was looking for, “Ah. And no, you may not have any,” He said to Porthos, “Here, have some mozzarella. We can spare that. But not this."
They returned to Sick Bay.
Phlox prepared a petri dish, adding in the variola virus, growth medium, vaccinia, a few drops of Reed's blood and lactase. All together in one mix. He let it sit, and then looked at his PADD, “Hmm, it says here that mature cheddar contains crystals of calcium lactate. Perhaps that will help, eh?" Porthos did not answer.
He got up and looked over at Crewman Madden. She looked terrible, and was barely recognizable, “I hope we can move fast enough, for your sake,” he muttered.
He returned to his stool and began dictating:
Medical Log, July twenty-seventh, 2158. Chief Medical Officer Phlox reporting. Progress continues to be slow. Disease has been identified as weaponized smallpox, and so this matter is believed to be an instance of Germ Warfare. Lieutenant Reed's immunity has been identified as being conferred via vaccination. Immunity is imperfect; the Lieutenant has been ill twice but with extremely mild cases. The first instance was when he was vaccinated several years ago. The second instance was very recent. It is estimated that the vaccination is not a perfect match to the strain currently under investigation.
Klingon Chief Medical Officer Keleth of the Somraw has been particularly helpful in this investigation. This should be noted in future negotiations with the Klingon Empire.
Crewman Madden's condition is worsening. In addition to the external evidence of the disease, enanthem are present on the tongue and other mucous membranes. She has one of the three most advanced cases. The other two are Haddon and Delacroix. They evidently have a hemorrhagic version of the disease, which traditionally has a higher fatality rate. Given this form of weaponization of the variola virus, it is believed that most if not all of the cases will be fatal, but that the three hemorrhagic ones will be more rapidly fatal. Intravenous fluid replacement is of some help. Delacroix and Haddon are visited as time permits. It is recommended that they be moved to Sick Bay tomorrow if a cure is not found, and exchange places with Will Owen and Ensign Mayweather, who currently have milder cases.
Current plan is to grow the variola virus in as many different solutions and media as time permits, and check for cell death. The virus grows best on solids and semi-solids. Dr. Keleth's recommendation is to check on growth on media containing lactose. This is somewhat akin to growing influenza vaccine on eggs. So far, a medium containing water buffalo milk has proven unsuccessful. A medium of cow's milk is now under investigation.
On a second matter, it is my belief that there is still a possibility that one of the Nereid Medical Academy students was cheating. While the wiping of the overall database appears to have been a part of the assault – particularly as evidenced by a similar problem with the Klingon Medical Database – the initial wiping of the quiz is more problematic. Whichever species perpetrated the Germ Warfare most decidedly knew nothing about that. I am forced to conclude that there is still a cheater or there is possibly even more than one.
He stopped dictating.
The alarm screaming in his ear, Malcolm got up. He had enough presence of mind to collect Dr. Keleth. They returned to Sick Bay.
"I have interesting news,” Phlox said.
T'Pol walked in, yawning.
"Oh, good. I won't have to repeat myself,” Phlox said, “I placed the virus onto a medium of hardened cow's milk."
"Hardened cow's milk?" asked Malcolm.
"Cheddar cheese, to be more precise,” Phlox replied.
"As I was saying," Phlox continued, "I then added lactase and vaccinia to the dish, along with a bit of your blood, Lieutenant, and set it aside. Four hours later, I have this,” He showed the dish. Keleth and T'Pol nodded knowingly.
"What am I supposed to be seeing?" asked Malcolm.
"The variola virus is a pinkish color,” Keleth said.
"I don't, I don't see any pink,” Malcolm said, “I. Don't. See. Any. Pink."
"And so you should not, assuming that the virus has been eradicated from this dish,” T'Pol said.
"Have you tested it in a patient yet?" Keleth asked.
"No. But she will be first,” Phlox indicated Crewman Madden.
"There is no need to hesitate,” T'Pol said.
Phlox prepared the shot and administered it. Malcolm didn't look, “I'll be on the Bridge,” he said, “Call me if there is something, if there is some news, please."
"Medical Log, July twenty-seventh, 2158. Chief Medical Officer T'Par reporting
,” she dictated, far away on the speeding Ti’Mur
"Patient has fully recovered from the variola virus, due to administration of a modified form of Cidofovir. Patient will be regularly checked for nephrotoxicity."
"I have tested the patient's blood twice,” Phlox reported, “Are we in agreement?"
"We are,” T'Pol said. Keleth nodded.
"Recovery will be slow. I will now bring the patient out of medically-induced stasis,” Phlox said, “T'Pol, contact Lieutenant Reed."
She clicked her communicator open, “Lieutenant, we have something."
"On my way,” He put the ship back into drift, as far away from the Somraw as possible.
He arrived as Crewman Madden was regaining consciousness. She tried to speak, but couldn't.
"That's all right,” Phlox said to her, “Just rest. Talk later. And, and, I will handle all dermatological issues. Don't worry about that. Just rest."
She closed her eyes.
Malcolm dared to hope, finally, “Can you cure Pamela? Uh, Doctor Hudson?"
"First Haddon and Delacroix. I would like for them to be in Sick Bay. You'll need to shift patients around. Move Travis and, and MacKenzie, switch them with the other two."
"Very well. Commander, if you please."
The shifting went pretty quickly. For the past few days, they had all dropped a kilo or so, and his shoulders felt better anyway.
Haddon responded almost immediately, and even tried to get up. Delacroix took longer, but seemed to be all right.
"Now?" Malcolm asked. He didn't want to be impatient but, he was.
"Here. You can administer it yourself,” Phlox said, handing Malcolm vaccines for her and Blair.
Pamela didn't wake up immediately, but did. Blair blinked a few times. Pamela made a slight noise and indicated with her eyes. Her index finger was slightly up and trembling. He took it in his fingers and then covered her hand with his, “I'll be back very soon,” he promised, and leaned over and kissed her forehead, amidst a few raised bumps. What should this be to me?
He thought to himself.
T’Pol and Malcolm made their way through that deck and C Deck. They would inject, then wait, then inject a second time in order to bring patients out of medical stasis. One crewman looked particularly bad. His face was very bumpy and worse on the left side than the right, directly over his eye. T'Pol looked at the names scrawled on the door. It was Crewman Hodgkins.
They brought him to Sick Bay, even though there weren't enough beds, “Crewman Hodgkins is an advanced case,” T'Pol explained.
"Yes, definitely. Must have worsened considerably overnight,” Phlox said, “I've read about this. Sometimes smallpox can blind a person. Put him, oh, I don't know where."
"Doctor, since the milder cases are recovering in quarters, I shall take Pamela with me. She can sleep in my quarters,” Malcolm volunteered.
"You must let her sleep,” Keleth scolded, then clapped him on the back again, hard, “Give her a day or two before, eh?"
Malcolm blanched, “Yes, yes, of course. Here, Doctor, can you assist me in bringing her to B Deck?"
"Yes. And then you will take me to the Transporter. I must attend to my own."
"Do you need help?" T'Pol asked.
"No. I can prepare another gas and pump it throughout the decks. Much like here. First to cure, then to wake. And I will lock myself back into Quarantine. No one wants to be around so many who are awakening at the same time."
"We cannot thank you enough,” Phlox said.
"Learning is good. No matter where it comes from,” Keleth said.
He picked up Pamela as Malcolm watched. She was alarmed but had no strength to resist. Reed directed him to quarters.
Once Pamela was laid down, Malcolm and Keleth went to the Transporter, “It's customary, we shake hands when people depart,” Malcolm said.
"Doctor, I, I just want to tell you, since we have no idea which species perpetrated this, might I suggest that our two sides at least sign some sort of a treaty whereby we outlaw Germ Warfare? It seems only fair. This is, it is truly horrific."
"We wish it on no one. I am not a political man."
"Neither am I,” Malcolm said, “But there is someone I may be able to speak with. Thank you again,” He ran the Transporter and Keleth was gone.