PWD #27: Toxic
Toxic
Summary: Some answers about what was on the Roland Reese, though the why remains hazy, and rather ominous.
Date: 07/12/2012 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Reese Rescue, Part 2, among other Roland Reese logs.
Nora Petra 
Sickbay — Deck 3 — Battlestar Orion
Serving as the ship's primary care facility, the Medical Center is a rather large, single room structure that has the same load-bearing structures to the walls that the halls do, as well as the same heavy hatch. There is a desk at the entrance staffed by a nurse as well as a small locker for single dose drugs like aspirin. Beds are lined up along each wall with EKG's and hangers for IVs in case of triage. Large cabinets at the rear provide ready access to lifesaving medicines and gear, as well as a ready supply of defibrillators. Not far from the primary entrance is the Chief Medical Officer's office and on the other side is a small hatch to the recovery ward. Towards the rear is a sectioned-off examination area.
December 8, 2004 (PWD #27)

Between making sure new personnel are integrated into their jobs aboard and required physicals for a lot of the new crew, Sickbay is busier than it usually gets over Piraeus. Most of the routine duties are presently being handled by the nursing staff, however. Nora has other business to attend to. Waiting for a Tactical officer to appear, specifically. She would've messaged the good Major Petra in CIC that full results of their testing of the toxic material found aboard the Reece were complete. And for him to come down and converse about them when he had a moment. She's presently hanging at the front desk, sipping tea from a tin cup.

A couple of days shore leave, and now two days back on duty…at least Petra doesn't look like some of the other cranky officers that might have come in to get needled for their vaccine updates. Ducking around a Marine who's probably in for the usual routine, he takes a moment to scan the room before locating the Doctor and her tea and flashing a faint smile. Clearing his throat as he approaches, one brow elevates a small amount, "Doctor, I just got your message. You said you found something out about that…well, stuff?"

"Major." Nora offers Petra a faint smile as she hops out of the chair she was sitting in and strolls around the desk to meet him. "Indeed. I've got a report cobbled together for Command, but I figured you might want to hear this direct. Since you were exposed to the stuff. And I'm curious about what you'll make of this. From a Tactical perspective. This way." She leads him over to an exam area, which is about as private as one can get outside the CMO's office. "How're you feeling, speaking of?"

Petra murmurs a softer, "I appreciate it. The Admiral wasn't very happy with my immediate assessment when we fell out of the Raptor, so I'm feeling a little bewildered at what the hell happened, myself. My imagination can run wild with me, but I've been keeping it distracted until I heard from research." He starts after the Doctor, linking his hands behind his back as he does so, "Fortunately the nausea went away by the time I had passed out in Decontamination, and I've felt fine since then, other than scraping my knee on the pool the night before…but that was just carelessness. Hopefully we're all in the clear?"

"This might make it run wilder," Nora says. "Good. I didn't expect any further problems but you know how some personnel can be about speaking up when they're feeling lousy. But I wouldn't worry. From what I can tell, the exposure you and the others on the away team got was pretty light, so you should be all clear. From a physical point of view, at least. Not sure what you'll make of this professionally? You have much experience with chemical weapons?" She adds, in case that didn't make it obvious, "Because that's apparently what we're dealing with here."

Petra nods slightly at the explanation about the team's exposure, but when she moves on to chemical weapons, his lips purse slightly and a darker tone colors his brow, "I know how chemical weapons have been used in the past, and of course the Fleet Academy went over the types and effects, but Chemistry was never much of a bright point for me. Can you give me a high-level idea of how it was introduced into the vents and what it does? Because…it looked a lot like people had, well, vanished."

"I'm not a tech, but I can give you an educated guess," Nora says. "The most effective way to deploy something like this is to flood the life support system. That'd leave a coating on all effected decks, a film similar to what you and your people encountered. The name of this nastiness is EA-4489. It's an incapacitating agent. Low to moderate doses, you get hallucinations, mumbling, cramps, confusion. You get the idea. It can make you freak out pretty bad, in layman's terms." Her mouth crooks into a half-smirk, though her manner remains serious. "Enough of a punch of it can put somebody in a coma. Vanished, you say?" Nora frowns. "I can't really see somebody who'd gotten a nose full of this getting too far, Major. Unless somebody carried them."

Petra's frown deepens a little more, lightly shaking his head as she describes, "You're right, it was coating everything. And I mean frakking everything, like someone had blown snot all over the boat, and there was this sweet smell in the air that I couldn't put my finger on." He pauses there and slows to a stop when she does, "Coma. But it doesn't kill? Doesn't have any physical effect on the composition of the body? Because the last image we had available of the Drake's CIC showed the XO already slumped over the table, either dead or unconscious, and when WE got there, we found a shirt with his pins on it, but not him."

"If the body's shut down long enough it won't start working again," Nora says. "And at the levels of this stuff you all found aboard that ship…I can certainly believe it'd be fatal eventually, if life support wasn't flushed and nobody got any medical treatment." She does a good deal of frowning herself. "Very few things will just make a man vanish, Major. And this isn't one of them. Was there any sign of a body? Material like this might break down skin if you just collapse in the stuff, but there should still be bone matter and the like present." She adds, "Should. I haven't dealt much with chemical weapon attacks."

Petra hrms and nods slowly, as if to signal he understands what she's talking about, "They…SOMEBODY destroyed SecHub, so we couldn't get any video back to review. I…" He stops again and takes a deep breath, then lets it go, "I swear Doctor, I'm not hallucinating, and I'm not crazy, but its like the bodies just 'poof', gone, and their empty uniforms fell where they stood." But then another thought occurs to him, "So it has to be physically introduced into the vents? Someone couldn't program the ship's life support system to, I dont know, MAKE this?"

"That's a little outside my area of expertise, I'm afraid," Nora says to Petra, sounding a little apologetic about her lack of technical know-how. "You might want to run it by somebody in Engineering or the like. But my guess is, no. This isn't a naturally-occurring agent. It takes a lot of careful chemistry to even make stuff like this in a lab. There's a lot of wonky stuff that can happen by accident in a ship's life support system, but fortunately for all of us they don't spontaneously make chemical weapons. No. I'd say we're dealing with an attack of some kind. Whether it came from within the ship, or hostiles somehow got in and then loosed it, couldn't tell you."

Petra sighs and slowly shakes his head, lowering his voice to a soft murmur, "I was afraid you'd say that. Listen, do me a favor Doctor, don't…mention that last detail too loudly to anyone other than your report to Mom and the Old Man? I don't want scuttlebutt passing around word about that, and making people wonder if it could happen on the Orion. Alright?"

Nora nods. "I'd like to brief the Medical staff on what we discovered about the agent itself, in case we encounter something like this again. Most of what even experienced crew know about chem weps procedures, they've only ever read in a text book. Though I can certainly hold off until Command gives the O-K. Most med staff are pretty good at keeping things to themselves if they've got orders to do so, anyhow. Discretion is kind of a job requirement."

Petra mmms in consideration, thinking for a moment, "If the medical folks can keep this under wraps, then go for it. I don't want us unprepared just because I was trying to slow the rumor mill. How do you counter this agent? IS there a way to counter it? Can you be immunized/innoculated/shielded against it? The teammates that had left their masks on seemed to not be suffering like the rest of us were."

"Every dirty secret anyone has on the ship is in their medical records, Major. We don't peep," Nora says to Petra with a wink. "Best way to counter it is not to breathe it in. Won't get through a sealed flight suit. A simple mask would also help counter effects if you aren't hanging around an area too long. Might do to make those standard procedure for away crews, until an area's been cleared for bio-hazards. Beyond that, there's not much you can do except put somebody who's been exposed through decon and wait for it to wear off. We can treat the effects a little with a compound called Physostigmine, but it just helps with the symptoms. It won't do anything preventative."

Petra finally smiles just a little at the first comment about the crew's dirty secrets, "Alright then. Maybe we'll have Maintenance put breathers at the top of their list this week as they work their way across the ship, just in case." He pauses again and unlinks his hands from behind his back, to fold them across his chest instead, "And if you find yourself needing anything…more help, more information, whatever, and noone is offering…let me know about it and we'll see what I can get you. Alright?"

"I'll holler loud, I promise," Nora replies, her smile widening a little. "Thanks. You mind if I ask what you make of this? You don't have to answer if I don't need to know, of course. But like I said, tactics aren't really my area and…" Her smile fades. "…finding something like this on a Colonial ship is pretty unnerving."

Petra's smile fades a little when she asks his opinion. He doesn't answer right away, glancing off at the bulkhead behind her first, then slightly shaking his head, "We saw an officer that had shot himself on the Observation Deck. What if he's the one who did this? I means we had a saboteur in the Navy, and then people start wondering if there's another one. But they destroyed the SecHub tapes as well, as if they didn't want anyone to ever see what they had done. And from the single glimpse we got at the time…there was something else going on. Right now it just doesn't make sense, and this is the sort of thing that will keep me up late wondering what the hell happened. You know?"

"This stuff can cause hallucinations, as I said," Nora replies. "It might've not've been guilt-induced. Chemicals like this put weird demons in your head. I was looking over standard procedures for dealing with this stuff, and it mentioned confiscating exposed crew's sidearms as soon as possible." Her frown deepens when he mentions the destruction of the SecHub tapes. "Again, this stuff will do a lot of things, but vaporize security footage isn't one of them."

Petra nods slowly, offering a wan little smile, "You see my confusion then. Alright. Thank you, Doctor, for looking out for our collective asses. This is probably a good enough lesson for me to keep my butt at the Tactical station and stop playing Away Team Hero. I'll give the Admiral and the XO the heads up that you went over your report with me as well."

"I do my best, Major, so much as I can," Nora replies. She might smirk, just a little, when he mentioned playing Away Team Hero. "I'm sometimes jealous of the medics. I'll admit. Not too jealous, though. Give my best to Mom and Dad. I should have this on their desk within the hour. Such as it is. The lab broke down what this was, but gods only know why it was there."

Petra rumbles softly, "Well, the Reese is so much nuclear dust at this point, so it may be something we wont ever know. I'd think about trying to write a book about it, if I thought the incident would ever be unclassified in my lifetime." He seems to get a lot of wry amusement out of that idea, the offers Nora a respectful nod of his head, "Thank you, Captain. Again, you find yourself needing something, /please/ give me a heads up. I'll get out of your hair then unless you need me for anything else?"

"That's all I've got, Major. Stay safe as you can up there. And on any future Raptors you find yourself going out on." Nora offers him a little two-fingered touch to her brow that's far more friendly send-off than salute. But the doctor doesn't bother much with those unless she's obligated to.

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