Location: SB249 - Morgue
Mikayla walked into the morgue, with trepidation. She stopped just inside the door and looked around. The tables were empty. The room was eerily quiet and smelled like disinfectant. Typical for a morgue. "Hello?" she called out. "Is anyone here?"
A minute later, one of the doors at the back of the room opened and one of the pathology techs stepped into the room. "Oh," he said, seeing Mikayla. "I didn't know we had company. You're Dr. O'Dell....right?" he asked walking up to Mikayla.
"Yes," Mikayla said with a nod. "I thought the dead Tracken creature was brought down here."
The man nodded. "It was. She's in the isolation lab. The pathologist didn't want to take any chances," he said.
"She?" Mikayla asked.
"Yep," he replied. "Did you want in on the PM?"
"I do. And I believe, Mr. Darkron will be joining us," Mikayla answered.
"Right this way, Doctor," the tech said and led the way through the door at the back of the morgue.
Once they crossed the threshold into the corridor Mikayla could see through the window into the isolation lab and got a clear view of the Tracken, laying on the table. Two security officers in protective suits stood just inside the lab doors, hands on their phasers and ready in case the creature revived. Not that it would but no one was taking any chances. The pathologist was already at the table, also in a suit, and was preparing his instruments.
"I'll need you to put on a suit if you're going in," the tech said.
Mikayla shook her head. "No. I'm good staying out here," she said.
Ted spoke from behind his approach unnoticed wearing an one of the open protective suit similar to the one he had on the planet surface, "That makes sense and I think a prudent precaution considering your connection with them". Stepping forward Ted leaned in to look at the dead Tracken standing next to Mikayla outside the lab doors, "I've had time to consider the latest findings of your sharing similar brain wave patterns with the Tracken and also the new data we collected from the mission...", his attention still on the Tracken, "..I still don't understand why you have that connection but if you can sense them they may be able to sense you".
Mikayla shook her head, while not looking away from the body in the lab. "Neither do I," she said, softly.
Ted turned his attention to Mikayla gauging her reaction and wishing their resident counselor was available, "It also means you may be able to communicate with them".
"That's a terrifying thought," Mikayla whispered as she shoved her hands in her labcoat pockets and clenched her fists until her fingernails dug into the palms of her hands. The pain...even though slight...kept her focused so she didn't give in to her fear. Clearing her throat she said, "let's just get on with this," and glanced at the pathologist.
Sealing his suit Ted entered the isolation lab and joined the pathologist Dr Burton Harker, "Burt you mind if we sit in on this one with you?"
Burt shrugged and nodded, "Hey Ted no that's fine, I read in the initial request that this ones a priority?", as he picked up a laser scalpel.
Ted grinned back at the bald unassuming man with a pale pallor, "Sure is but if you don't mind lets run a few different scans on this body before we start, just to be sure".
Burton Harker set the laser scalpel back down and stepped away from the body, "You know where the controls are so go ahead", speaking matter of factly.
Moving to the control station Ted grabbed the remote padd and activated the sensors, the scans he wanted to do were configured in a similar fashion to the one he'd done for the visors but with the additional data he'd recently got back from the starbases computer tweaked the settings further. The body was bathed in a narrow red beam that ran from the bottom of its feet rolling past its head and then back down to its feet then disappearing. A red holo image of the body appeared 30 centimetres above it. The holo body was also transparent so some of the internal organs could be seen but the body was wrapped in a misty tendril like quality with threads coming off it much like the slow swirl of seaweed in the sea, all this invisible to the naked eye.
"What is that?", Burton asked pointing to the misty tendrils.
"My guess is that's extruded from their bodies and it allows them to phase out and phase back in again", Ted said speculatively.
A tableau of numbers rolled down next to the holo body which seem to get Ted excited, looking to Mikayla, "Remarkable the cells in this creature are unstable, the starbase computer has given us a comparative match that they share a similar quality to the people of the planet Meridian, their people could transition to a fervent dimension and back. Its not exactly the same but there are a lot of shared characteristics. Using these settings I believe we can reconfigure the visors in the suits and see the Tracken...hopefully".
Mikayla nodded. She pressed the intercom on the wall and said, "Dr. Harder....do me a favor. Check the esophagus. Is the muscle a dual sphincter?"
The pathologist stepped to the other side of the table and picked up another scalpel. Making a cautious incision, he opened the Tracken's throat from the side so that the esophagus could be exposed. The odor was almost overwhelming and, even through his protective visor his eyes burned. After a quick manipulation of the esophagus muscle he looked over to the lab window and nodded, then stepped back.
Mikayla nodded. "I thought so," she said. "They feed to feed. They have young somewhere. That's probably why they are suddenly active."
Watching on Ted noticed something, "What's that ?", manipulating the controls Ted flipped the holo body over, on its back apart from where the iOS mag had blown a hole through it were some small pods the size of a small hand with tails like guppies on them, there were four and one just sudden moved off the body like it was swimming heading for the door.
"Oh damn! Grab it!" the pathologist yelled.
Mikayla was plastered against the glass, watching the larvae slither across the floor.
A tech reached down with his bare hands to grab the larvae but let go as his hand was burned by its acidity
"NO DONT!", Ted yelled but he was too late as the tech clutched at his hand by the wrist, speaking to Harker the pathologist, "Burt quick hydrate the wound and stay away from that tracken in case the others move".
Turning his attention back to the larvae that was burning a groove in the floor as it wiggled its way to the door Ted was baffled by why they hadn't seen these things on the tracken in the first place as they were too big not to notice. In fact they had examine the tracken in the first instance when prepping it for departure from the planet and there had definitely been no larvae then....unless as his eyes widen in realisation.
Tapping the controls of his suit Ted activated the visor, meanwhile the larvae had reached the door and tried to go through it without success, the doors physical material and the isolation field stopping it in its tracks, then it faded from view...
Teds view of the world shifted once again to that other place, a world of dim swirling winds that limited ones vision down to metres. He could still see the room they were in but it seem to have a quasi-real look to it. The larvae though clearly stood out and it was passing through the door, heading to Mikayla, "Mikayla get back its heading straight for you!", he shouted. It was then he noticed something different about Mikayla, she had thin misty tendrils around her too!
"Shoot the damn thing!" Mikayla yelled as she backed away from the slithering creature headed her way. She stumbled but caught herself but now she was backed into a corner with no place to run. "TED!"
Ted couldn't help noticing that the larvae was slowed by the door which meant they were still connected to the physical world. The two security officers reacted with hand phasers drawn but they couldn't see anything, "Activate your visors!", Ted called to them as he charged forward and hit the door release. The larvae was about a metre away from the doctor but it was now slowing down.
The two security officers could now see the larvae and one of them opened fire, the beam passed through the larvae and it reacted as if hit but the effect was minimal. "Maximum setting, kill it!", Ted exclaimed. The security officers were well trained and they reacted instantly, the sound of the phasers settings both being cranked up then the twin beams stabbing at the larvae spearing it from both sides half a metre away from its intended target. The effect was immediate as it spasm and then fell forward not moving, appearing again in the real world blackened where the energy beams had struck their marks.
Standing just behind the larvae Ted eyed the dead thing with a laser scalpel in his hand, he didn't remember grabbing it but it was turned on and he held it like he was ready to stab down at a moments notice, "Mikayla, let me help you up and out of there please", reaching his free hand to her to help.
Mikayla took his hand and got to her feet.
Analytical mind ever at work Ted had come to a conclusion these things could be hurt by their weapons, it might mean they had to be set to a very high setting when they were phased out but they could still be hurt and their visors could see them now. He also considered that the larvae could be the female tracken young and he speculated that the young stayed phased out when attached to their mother.
Looking at Mikayla strangely now that they were away from the larvae he spoke carefully to her mindful of the reaction his latest finding might cause, "Mikayla, that larvae was trying to get to you, I think its because it needed a new host once its mother was dead...", pausing then deciding she had to know, "You have a similar misty tendril layer around you like the female Tracken, we need to examine you to find out why"
Mikayla suddenly felt sick to her stomach as she looked at the larvae carcass. She looked up at Ted as if entranced as she tried to register what he was saying. The corridor began to ebb and flow and she could hear what sounded like the ocean surf in her head. Instinctively she reached out for the wall for support then everything went black as she crumpled to the floor in a heap.
"Darkron to medical we have a medical emergency!"