AWD #119: More Questions Than Answers

Dr. Nadir calls a medical-version of a football huddle to discuss the cylon centurion parasite issue, among other things.

More Questions Than Answers
Summary: Dr. Nadir calls a medical-version of a football huddle to discuss the cylon centurion parasite issue, among other things.
Date: 05/05/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: How deep is the rabbit hole, among others
Petra Naomi Zoya Kalum Samtara 
Battlestar Orion - Deck 3 - CMO's Office
The CMO's office is not huge, like most offices on the Orion. Nine feet by nine feet, most of the floorspace is taken up by a desk and file cabinets.
Thu May 05 2005 AWD #119

With the prisoner removed, at last, to the Brig, the sickbay is back to normal. Which, in this instance, means that not everyone has to go through quarantine procedures just to come into the sickbay, or wear gloves or a half mask, etcetera. But the problem of what to do with the patient remains, and it continues to present itself in a way that - for all of her surgical and scientific experience - Dr. Nadir is unable to immediately resolve in a way that makes coherent sense. WIth that in mind she'd made a general announcement of her intent to the medical staff, at large, then requested a meeting with Dr. Tamsin and the LTC as soon as they had time, pulling Kalum into the meeting as well for additional assistance and insight.

Petra is maybe a LITTLE late arriving, but oddly enough seems to be in a good mood when he thumps a fist on the hatch to her office and pokes his head in, "You rang?" The everpresent clipboard is tucked under one arm and seems to be stuffed full of pictures and pages of his henscratch scribbles. Ducking the rest of the way in once he's sure he's not interrupting, he glances around to see who else has made it.

Naomi has been working in whatever cobbled together lab they have made available. She has a long white lab jacket on under her bright red minidress, and her boots making clomping sounds on the metal floors as she makes her way back to the CMO's office and takes a seat. "Hello everyone, hello, hello." Dimples, dimples everywhere.

PO Kalum attends the meeting in his combat-blacks, having just returned from several days of work down on Picon with the Marines and the Resistance there. His body armor is still on, and his vest is stuffed with all the equipment required to save or take a life. His helmet is sitting on the floor next to him. As the LTC enters, Kalum rises up to his feet, and stands at attention.

Nadir removes her reading glasses as she looks toward the door, rising to her feet once the LTC has arrived along with Dr. Tamsin to join herself and PO Kalum. "Thank you both for coming," she says simply, one more glance toward the door as she says, "We're expecting one more," is explained. "Would anyone else like some coffee before we start?"

Petra murmurs a low, "As you were…" when Kalum rises to his feet, followed by an equally low, "Its good to see you, Petty Officer. And Doctor Tamsin…glad you're still with us." The mention of another coming arches up one of Petra's brows, but the offer of coffee has the man seeking out the pot, setting his clipboard down on the edge of Samtara's desk, muttering, "Dont mind if I do, thank you, Captain."

"Oh, yes please." says Naomi, trying not to bounce on her heels. Because everybody wants a hopped up Eleven making the proceedings entertaining. "Hello again, Petty Officer. It's nice to see you now that I've been exonerated. Hullo, Colonel Petra. Your chin divet is looking exceptional today." A beaming smile is offered to Nadir.

"Colonel, Doctor," Kalum says simply and politely with a nod of his head to Naomi and Petra, and then settles back into his seat. The Pararescue Jumper waves off the offer of coffee from Samtara, and waits for the meeting to begin — letting the big wigs take the lead.

"I don't quite make it as potent as the brew that comes from your office, Sir," Nadir remarks with a touch of humor in her tone of voice, "but only one coffee pot in this entire ship is allowed to make a brew strong enough to strip varnish off of the hull." Her coffee cup is mostly empty so she refills her cup as well once Petra has some and pours a cup for Naomi before offering it to the bouncy eleven. "Chin divet?" she asks then catches up, "Oh. Um, yes," a look toward Petra, "it's quite eye catching, Sir," total deadpan there, yep, we're talking about Petra's chin dimple/divet.

Petra errs and glances back at Naomi as he pours a mug, "Err, thank you…I think?" He shoots Samtara a look that COULD be construed as 'dont you start encouraging her' while he settles into a nearby chair and takes a small drink, "Understandable, Captain. You brew a perfectly wonderful pot of coffee. The world just doesn't vibrate at the moment."

Hopefully Sam has sugar and cream, because if she does, Naomi will use a ridiculous amount, and if she doesn't, well, Naomi will make do. She helps herself and takes a seat, pulling a notepad and pen out of her jacket in the event that she needs to take notes.

Zoya slips into the office after a few minutes, as much as one *can* slip in to a 9 x 9 space. She glances around curiously, offering a smile to Samtara, and then a more formal nod to Petra, and another to Kalum and Naomi. "Doctor, Colonel, Petty Officer," She pauses for a moment at Naomi. "Sir?" she guesses, perhaps a bit hopefully. But then clears her throat slightly, and falls silent. She too happens to have a clipboard!

Nadir slides a shaker of sugar and another of that powdered creamer that is made EVERYWHERE in the known universe, that powdered non dairy creamer that begs the question just what is non-dairy creamer made out of, if not some sort of dairy compound. And if it isn't dairy, what exactly is it? Because if it's not dairy it's really not cream, so then it's really 'powdered compound that has a consistency of cream when added to adequately temperature liquid such as coffee'. Granted, then there's the question of caffeine free coffee added to non-dairy creamer which amounts to dark liquid tempered with fake compound and… that just can't be safe to drink, it really can't.

Nadir blinks once as she organizes her thoughts and nods at the gathered group, "Thank you all for coming. In the last few days we've had a number of unpleasant surprises, unwelcome ones at that, and unwelcome unpleasant surprises of this like cannot be contained nor can they be sorted out by traditional - if logical - methods. Now," and she reaches for the ballpoint pen that she carries in one pocket, toying with it as she speaks, "I don't claim to know exactly how this centurion is housed in the boyd or the brain of Nejab. I'm not, actually, sure at all where the centurion is housed at all or if it's somehow hardwired or soft-wired or just plain hypnotized into the consciousness of Nejab. Which, honestly, is part of the problem. I don't know where in the body we need to be aiming our efforts, let along what we'd do once we figure that out. I have some ideas, but some ideas are not enough. What we need is a cleaner look at the brain and body of Nejab and a plan detailing what we'll do once we figure this out."

Kalum listens carefully to what Samtara has to say, and then tosses out the obvious thought. "We need to toss Nejab in an MRI, and see what turns up in his head and his body. If his head or his body is suddenly full of wires? We'll know." The PO says simply. "Either route are memories are just a mixture of chemicals, cells, and electrical impulses. With the right chemicals, you can make anyone thing or believe anything."

Petra frowns a little as he listens, but doesn't try to interject. This is medical theorizing and SO not Petra's area of expertise, but he can listen and take notes on his clipboard! Scribble scribble, "Well, as much as it makes me a little ill to say it, I highly doubt he's going to be the last one we see that's had this done to him…especially the way that Centurion presence was talking, about 'deserving to replace us'.

"Oh, hello. I'm Dr. Tamsin. Ph.D, Biologist, not medical. I assist Dr. Nadir." Naomi says to Zoya amiably. "What we really need is a means of scanning his brain. And to be honest, we need some means for other research we're pursuing as well."

"A MRI and a CT scan are actually first on my list," Nadir agrees with a nod -first- to Kalum, then Petra and around to Naomi, each in turn. "Which we don't have access to, not on this ship or any other. We need to locate working machines on a planet side facility and then secure the patient, move him into position for the scans, and bring him back here for follow up. IF we can't extract the parasite on the spot." She starts to tap the end of the pen on the desk, stops herself after the first few, "We can scan incoming personnel with x-ray imaging, but that - to - is a time consuming process and we only have so much in the way of resources. Which boils down to the need for more. Not just in the way of films but other supplies that we're going to need as this goes forward." Her expression is somber, almost grim really, "IF what Nejab's captor has said, and the crew of the Reese are entirely occupied, then that presents a security issue that I am not qualified to speak to. But.. identifying where in the body the parasite is presents just one aspect of the problem. We'll need to figure out a solution. To that end.. I'd like to open this to the entire crew to consider and work on, Sir," she aims this specifically at Petra for the moment. "We need people who can think not just outside the box, but outside the building that houses the room within which the box is resting on a table. We cant hide this, and we shouldn't. But we have mechanics and engineers, inventors and thinkers, people of rare talent who may just be the right people in the right place if they know what the problem actually is. I'd like ot address the crew and give the crew a chance to bring these ideas forward. No idea is to insane or to far fetched, because IN these ideas will be the pieces we'll need to solve this problem. Hopefully." She casts then a glance toward Naomi, "I also need to ask if there's anything you can speculate on that will help us in this endeavor."

Zoya smiles at Naomi. "I'm Zoraida Olivieros," she greets in return. "Nice to meet you, Dr. Tamsin." She glances towards each person as they speak, making notes, or a list. "I was too much on the move on Picon to have use of such things myself," Zoya offers quietly, putting down her pen. "But I might be able to talk to some of those that I knew, and network a bit to find out a likely place to find one. Whether or not we can find a working one right away…" she shakes her head. "But as you said, Doctor, we've got a lot of brilliant people here, I'm sure we can jury rig one that we do find. Hopefully good enough." She bites her lower lip thoughtfully. "At least the radiation dose isn't that high right?" Haha, maybe it's a medical joke.

"An MRI will be exceedingly useful in the research toward skinjob detection as well." Naomi chimes in. "We access different areas of the brain than you do, and if we can establish some semblance of neural mapping we can use that as a further means of detection. Right now, visual inspection of potential entry ports is a perfectly viable means of checking, but we must not assume the technology isn't in a state of constant development and upgrade. Smaller entry points, alternate entry points, ceasing the need for hardware entirely."

Petra furrows his brow a little further as Samtara explains, then slowly shakes his head, "I dont think asking the whole crew for help in figuring the problem out is a good way to go, when we've only had the problem to work on for a couple of days. I just informed the crew that such things exist. Following it right away with the message that sounds like 'our medical team has no idea so they'll take anyone's help at all', is a recipe for panic. As for a scanning machine…has anyone checked to see if the Pallas Science Outpost has medical equipment? We need to get those people off of that outpost, so if there is Imaging hardware we can scavenge and bring back to Piraeus while we're at it….otherwise its going to be something we probably will have to get off of Picon. Virgon is abandoned and disintegrating, but the southern continent isn't what I would have called 'technologically advanced'." Yes, this is his home colony he's bagging on.

"I am sure there is still medical equipment intact on Picon. Every city and town has a hospital, and I doubt all of them were destroyed." Kalum states quietly. "Otherwise, I'd say Pallas is our best bet. They're likely to have the required equipment. Also, is it possible that our new friends on the drednaught might have one equiped on their ship?"

"Is there a specific reason why the port was emplaced in the arm?" Nadir wonders, her brow furrowed in a frown, clearly still trying to riddle her way through this. "And the parasite or .. what ever the delivery method is and .. I don't have adequate terms for this. But are they mechanical in nature?" she wonders, still trying to frame the words, the questions, in a way that will make sense. She gives a touch of a smile toward Zoya, "A drop of radiation here, a dose of it there, soon we're talking about real cellular decay," she takes the medical joke for what it is - only doctors / scientists get these sort of macabre things perhaps. "If we can't find what we need on Picon.." and around to Petra again, "then perhaps the Pallas Science Outpost is our next most viable target." Kalum's question is a good one, a very good one, an she turns back to Petra to gague his reaction to that idea.

"Ease of access, I should think." Naomi muses. "What would really do well for us is some sort of stealth operation to get intelligence on their processing centers. Based on what I know of the current colonial statuses, there are likely ones on Aquaria, Leonis, and possibly Caprica in addition to Picon."

Petra mms, "From my understanding, current fleet construction methods mean that its not possible to have a magnetic imaging scanner running inside one of our ships, so I can say with pretty good assurances that noone in Blackjack is going to have one. HOWEVER. Toybox and Milkshake just made contact with one of our lost Recon groups, and if anyone is going to have some good intel of where we might find medical equipment and supplies, they will know. So we'll see what they have to say once we get them here in the next few days as well. Until then, we'll have to assume Picon."

"Would a strong enough electrical current conducted through the body cause damage to the parasite?" Samtara wonders quietly of Naomi. "If not damage but cause them to potentially - if temporarily - shut down, reboot or in some manner be knocked off line even for a small duration of time?"

"You're asking me like I know anything about this technology, Dr. Nadir. But I don't." Naomi says firmly. "I'm as in the dark, same as you are."

"A temperature change as well?" Zoya muses softly. "Heat will damage electronics as well, won't it? Or at least disrupt them. I suppose that it might damage the body too much as well, of course…"

Petra murmurs, "Aren't there ways to induce comas? Isn't a coma sort of a…system reset for the brain? I mean, assuming this Cylon is in the brain area." He looks a little unsure of the suggestion, glancing at Naomi, then Samtara, then Kalum."

"No, Dr Tamsin, I don't expect that you know anything about this technology. But you are a Cylon, which means you have a unique insight that I lack," Nadir replies, speaking quietly but quite honestly and frank. "I have to ask questions, because I don't know what questions to even begin to ask. Which means that I'm asking, hoping, for your opinion. that also means, frankly, that I'm starting at any point and working forward from there. Where forward is used, I mean to say that I'm working in any direction that makes sense once some answers start to drop onto the table." She nods then to Zoya and then Petra, "Yes, and yes. But what I'm hoping is to shock or somehow disable the parasite long enough to get a chance to speak to Nejab while the entity isn't listening. Or maybe just can't stop him from speaking."

"I don't think you should ever account for the parasite not being able to hear." Naomi interjects thoughtfully. "Even when it permits Nejab to have control, it's still a presence and there's no way to detect that it's entirely dormant."

"You could…disrupt some of the auditory processing centers of the brain, at least temporarly," Zoya points out. "Though that would assume that the parasite would need the host's brain to intepret the raw data before transmission."

Petra shifts a little in his chair and scribbles down a couple more notes, "When we were talking to him before, he made a comment 'See, Nejab? These are your people'. Which implied that Nejab can see and hear just fine, even when he's not in control."

"So, even if we can disable it long enough to Nejab to speak, it may still be able to observe and - if observing - exact punishment upon Nejab once he, it, regains control," Nadir says with a slow shake of her head. "But if we disrupt some of the auditory processing centers of the brain, we may hamper Nejab's ability to tell us how this process works, how long it takes, how many are taken, how many were killed before they perfected the process, are all humans compatible, the error rate… etc etc.," she explains - listing just a few of the questions she hopes to ask. "He begged us to kill him, Sir," she reminds the LTC softly. "He begged us to kill him. I believe he sees, hears, experiences everything that the parasite uses his body to do. I would want to be killed as well."

Petra blinks once, "Well, a Cylon has no instinct, right? No subconscious? Well, I have no idea what the frak Im talking about here, but would it be safe to say that's a part of our intellect they dont have? Can we exploit that at all?"

Naomi looks over at Petra. "I don't think that's accurate at all. If even that were true about centurions and raiders, they would be far, far easier to kill."

"Alright," Nadir says after a moment. "Then in order of business. First," she glances to Kalum and Zoya, "I'd like your help in framing a series of plans to acquire access to the medical equipment that we need. Be it on Picon or the Pallas Science Outpost. Please speak with which ever crew will be most helpful and include Lt. Morgan in your planning as we'll have need for the help of a couple marines, i should imagine." She turns slightly to Petra, "Secondly. I'm requesting to conduct a series of tests on Nejab, with care, to determine if there's a way to disable or distract the parasite that we may speak with Nejab, not the parasite."

Zoya nods once, crisply. "Yes, Sir, you have it," she replies to Samtara. "I don't know the crew very well yet, but it will be an excellent opportunity to do so." She looks to Kalum as well.

Kalum nods his head here. "I'll have a look at the recon data, and see what we can turn up. There has to be some sites out there which haven't been hit yet."

"What do you want me to do, Dr. Nadir?" asks Naomi. "Continue on with the detection project, or split my attention?"

Petra mms and rolls one shoulder, offering Naomi a faint smile, "So much for that idea. That's why I come here when I get shot with missles rather than think I can fix them myself, I suppose." To Samtara's request, he simply nods, "Alright. Tell me what you need from me, or, well, anyone else on the ship and if we have it, I'll make sure you can get it."

"I'd actually like your help with both," Nadir admits with a smile to Naomi, "there aren't enough hours in the day at the moment, and your help is invaluable in both lines of inquiry. The lab on Deck 4 is where we're working and I'd like your help. We've only enough resources at hand to test ten samples, so we've drawn blood from a good number of the crew and civilian personnel and will pull ten samples - blindly - from the lot and compare them with the tests drawn from yourself, Sgt. Knox, the remains of Agent Boyd and the copy of the One that we have in the morgue. Plus, and not so inconsequentially, your presence seems to upset - or perhaps it's offend? - the parasite in control of Nejab. I am no psychiatrist, by far, but if that's something we can exploit, lets do so." She nods then to Kalum and Zoya, "Thank you. Report back as soon as you have some rough drafts to look over. All I ask for is something not akin to suicide runs," another touch of a grin that fades as she nods to Petra as well. "Probably just a few extra marines on hand when we start to work. I'd rather not have my neck snapped if he breaks those ties and leaps at me. It'd be… terribly inconvenient."

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