STF

Sick bay and meeting Bren...When the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted Nov. 28, 2023, 8:57 p.m. by Civilian Jessa Novar (Child) (Kate O'Neill)

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Brenner “Bren” Satis (Doctor/specialty in neuroscience) in Sick bay and meeting Bren…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted by Civilian Jessa Novar (Child) in Sick bay and meeting Bren…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Brenner “Bren” Satis (Doctor/specialty in neuroscience) in Sick bay and meeting Bren…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present
Posted by… suppressed (5) by the Post Ghost! 👻
SNIP
“Wait,” Ian held up his hands, “are you telling me she is on narcotics? Since when?” It was clear the news was infuriating Ian.

“Is the scan for them something you have to look for or would it show up in even a basic scan?”

Pacing for a bit, he roughed up his hair. “They ran a full tox screen a week ago when she had her jugular vein punctured and needed emergency surgery. Dr. Shan didn’t mention anything about being doped up so can we figure out when she took them?” The medical records would show numerous blood tests since Jessa arrived a week ago and all of them were clean except for Dr. Satis’s scan. The last blood test was two days before this one in the record.

Bren both felt and recognized the agitation in Ian’s reaction, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. Sometimes when he delivered a child’s medical information to their family the Betazoid felt almost Vulcan, knowing it was best to deliver facts dispassionately.

“Any pain reliever that would have been delivered post surgery would have exited her system by now. Her records show that she was clear of narcotics during her most recent scans. That was two days ago. The delivery of the narcotic would have happened in the last forty-eight hours. My best guess, based on the concentration within her system and the onset of withdrawal symptoms is that consumption was in the last twenty-four hours.”

“You know I am right here,” Jessa yelled out feeling a wave of tension watching Ian’s reaction to whatever Dr. Bren was telling him. “And I didn’t do anything wrong. You said it was okay to tell you if I didn’t feel good. Did you do something to my nanites,” she suddenly became paranoid now that she was feeling better from the meds the doctor had given her. “Your leeches and blood lettings are vastly inferior to the Union’s medicine so whatever you found or are talking about means you have no idea what you are doing.” Jessa was feeling herself getting tense. She had an overwhelming urge to bolt from the space but it only remained a thought and not an action because there was no place to go.

Jessa Novar and Ian Bordeaux

“Hey hey kiddo, everything is fine. Can you give me a second,” Ian held a finger up to Bren and walked away before the man could actually respond.

Ian Bordeaux

Bren’s face softened as he looked toward Jessa. He hoped he’d never see a day when he looked at someone her age with accusation rather than compassion.

Moving to the bed, Ian moved to the edge where Jessa was now sitting with her feet dangling over the side of it. “You are absolutely supposed to tell someone, anyone if you are about to puke or have a headache or feel not one hundred percent in any way. You also have to give us a chance to figure out what is going on because unlike your medical…it takes us a minute. So if you just hang out here for a second I will introduce you to my friend the caramel frappuccino. Jack,” he looked at the man standing next on the other side of the bed who nodded before heading to the replicator. The choice was probably not the best one nor one Dr. Satis would approve of but it would keep Jessa in check for a few minutes. Patting her leg, Ian moved back across the room to Bren. “So how do we fix this?”

Looking back at Ian he asked, “I’d like to know more about her nanites. The Federation has been using nanites for medical purposes for a while now, but our technology is limited to accelerating and supporting the bodies ability to repair damage. I’m not aware of any ability for nanites to deliver controlled and targeted medicinal delivery, especially without external direction. I don’t know if that’s what’s delivered the narcotic into Jessa’s system or if she’s obtained it through another avenue, but I think it’s worth exploring.”

Bren had only a cursory understanding of who Jessa was and what was roiling through Ian and his family. His recommendation existed purely within his medical responsibilities. It was possible other priorities would supercede his request, but a minor with unprescribed narcotics in her system was a serious matter and, at the very least, would be reported up the chain of command.

Satis, MO

“Doc she has not been unsupervised the entire time she has been on the Atlantis except for the Promenade incident. I know you all are not just leaving drugs out like a candy bowl so given your time frame and her supervision,” his voice trailed off.

Bren’s lips pursed and he shook his head in the negative.

Ian let out a breath through his pursed lips as he crossed his arms over his chest defensively. It was not in reaction to Bren but Bren’s assertion to his question. Thinking Jessa got a hold of something once was problematic but a far different problem than Jessa hiding more than they already suspected she was. As a diplomat, Ian was used to surprises. Dwelling on a surprise did not solve the situation it presented so Ian approached this like a diplomat and not a parent. “It could explain the vast mood swings and emotional instability.”

“Oh my god does anyone listen to a varping word I say,” Jessa noisily slurped down a large sip of her drink. “You are talking about the battle drug right? It’s not bad. It is just a metabolic enhancer that makes us more powerful, decreases our pain, and calms us down. Look at Ian’s arm,” she raised her own arm and pulled back her sleeve. “I have two puncture wounds because I took two doses. It looks more like tiny black and blue marks more than an injection site,” Jessa scrutinized her arm for a second. “Battles are pretty scary so I took two doses to not be afraid and make sure I was able to do my job. Ian and Rinker should only have one puncture because you have to activate the second dose. You only get the first dose automatically when you are attacked or have to defend yourself. I don’t know why you are so triffing freaked out over this. The best soldiers do whatever it takes to win. That is why we don’t lose.”

Ian pulled up his sleeve and looked at Bren and back down to the small puncture wound that resembled a nondescript black and blue mark. “You drugged me?”

“It was when I gave you the suit. It as that or risk you getting killed and I wasn’t about to let that happen to you or Rinker,” Jessa looked almost hurt.

“Dr. Satis,” Ian directed his attention to confirm what Jessa was saying. A scan would show trace amounts of the narcotic still in his system. They could easily be removed by a dose of Naloxostine which would purge any illicit drugs from someone’s system. What it wouldn’t do was answer the multitude of questions Bren had asked or was thinking up now.

Jessa Novar and Ian Bordeaux CDO

Bren asked Ian to take a seat on the bed next to Jessa’s and did a cursory scan. Knowing what he was looking for made it easier to find. It also made it easier for Bren to see the external signs of the drugs effects on Ian. He’d missed the dilated pupils earlier, his thoughts focused on Jessa.

“Jessa’s right,” he looked to the tween, “of course.”

“Of course I am right,” she stated as if it was the most normal thing ever. “No one ever listens to me,” she tossed her hair over her shoulder. Smiling at Bren, Jessa nodded happy that someone on this crew was treating her like an equal.

“I would definitely have listened if you opened up a conversation with ‘Hey Ian I drugged you’.” His voice carried a hint of anger but more his typical sarcasm. This conversation could easily go off the rails which is why Bren skillfully steered in into a far more productive dialogue than just accusation-slinging.

“Your dose of the narcotic is lower and your body has already metabolized a good deal of the drug. We can let your body rid itself of the drug naturally over the next few hours. You won’t feel much worse than you do now. Or I can accelerate the process with a dose of Naloxostine. It’s a bit uncomfortable for the first few minutes, but that’s the end of it.”

“Clear us,” Ian stated making the decision for both of them. He had the parental authority to do it and made the call. Jessa was already throwing up and exhibiting the symptoms of withdrawal. Ian had had a hangover enough times and prayed to god for it to be over. At least he could move her through the physical aspect faster. Jessa was already in therapy so aside from telling Rinker to add detox to the therapy plan, this was a relatively minor setback in the scheme of what had happened over the past week.

“As for you,” Bren moved to Jessa’s bedside. “Rough estimate. How frequently have you received doses of this ‘battle drug’ and for how long?”

One dose wasn’t of much concern, but prolonged exposure could lead to severe side effects to withdrawal.

Satis, MO

Being Betazoid, Bren could not help but feel the emotional state of those around him. The race took great pains to avoid being invasive however there were times when an individual they were interacting with was in such emotional turmoil it might not be possible to keep them at a distance.

Whether or not Bren would feel what Jessa was emoting remained to be seen for the moment. For Jessa, Bren’s question was not a simple one. Her slightly haughty tween glow about being slightly praised by Bren for being right evaporated in a flash. It was replaced by fear, anger, and waves of paranoia. The emotional response was also matched by a marked change in her physical demeanor. Her relaxed posture straightened and everything about her became tense. “That is none of your triffing business.”

“Hey hey hey get it together,” Ian snapped instantly. It had been a week and he was done with the tantrums and mouth.

Jumping off the table, Jessa’s legs buckled slightly but Ian caught her arm steadying her before he let go. “We are done here. I don’t need you or your quackery. If…if,” her tone began to increase along with her volume, “you had just left me alone the nanites would have taken care of all of this. I told Rinker that war was scary. The battle drug makes fighting less scary and stops you from quitting fighting when you are injured. It is a necessity no different than a weapon.” Her comment explained a lot without her realizing it. Jessa fully admitted to knowing she was taking it and shared the psychological reason for it given to her by those in the Galactic Union military. It also showed that she had hidden it which was odd since all she did was crow about how great things were in the Union. There was no way anyone could think Rinker knew Jessa was taking narcotics. It was more believable that Jessa hinted at it so vaguely, that it never crossed Heathcliff’s radar.

Bren had interned as a young medical student in a rehab clinic. It wasn’t his favorite three months, but the one thing he’d been good at from the start was seeing through the lies of an addict. There was little they wouldn’t say to try and manipulate a situation to reach their ultimate goal, access to their drug of choice. Jessa’s explanations and exclamations weren’t consistent, but he sensed far more sincerity than deception. And that made sense. The addicts he’d encountered in clinic were seasoned veterans of the drug game. Jessa was twelve and apparently under the influence of a militarist system that exploited it’s youth with nefarious indoctrination and artificial battle enhancements.

Rubbing her palms together hard, it was clear there was more to this than Jessa was admitting. “Look if you don’t want me to use it that is fine. I won’t again. You have to choose to use it and since I am not allowed to activate my suit on the ship it’s not like I can access it anyway. Okay?” Jessa wasn’t sure who to promise this to so she said it once to Bren and then repeated the okay to Ian just to cover her bases.

Jessa Novar and Ian Bordeaux

“Okay,” Bren acknowledged her commitment. “It won’t be easy. I don’t fully understand the capabilities of the nanites in your system. I hope they help your body adapt to the withdrawal you are feeling and will continue to feel.”

Bren had moved to Ian’s side, provided with a hypospray by an attending nurse. He pressed the hypospray to Ian’s upper arm and delivered the Naloxostine.

“You may feel a bit of nausea and light headedness,” he warned.

The second the hypo entered Ian’s body, Bren’s comment about it being rough for a bit with the medicine made sense. “Ughhhh,” Ian let out an attempt at trying to sound manly but deal with the symptoms Bren indicated might happen. “I think I now understand the exact meaning of the cure being worse than the disease.” As usual, Ian’s voice was full of his humorous wit.

“Feel free to lie down. It will pass. The fact that your levels of the narcotic are already low should lessen the side effects.”

“Schooche over,” Ian sat down next to Jessa on the bed. He did not think at the moment how she would feel or react. Ian just needed to sit and it was the closest spot.

Jessa looked at Ian but did not protest or really help as Ian slid next to her. She watched as Ian moved and giggled until he was able to sit and lean back on the propped-up end of the bed.

Bren turned to Jessa as he loaded a fresh dose into the base of the hypospray, “Your turn. You’re already experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal. This will help them pass faster.”

Satis, MO

Jessa looked a Bren and pressed her lips together until they were a tight, thin line. The only outward signs of which was her emotional state were the trembling of her chin as she tensed up her facial muscles, As a Betazoid, there was no way Dr Satis could miss the onslaught of sadness radiating off Jessa in the moment. What her face was trying to hold back, her emotions did not. Her lips began to tremble slightly as if Jessa wanted to speak but was also holding back.

Bren eyed the tween as he integrated the multiple inputs of emotion he was perceiving from Jessa. Others may not pick up on the tremble of her lips, but the sadness that emanated from her mind cued the doctor to look for other signs of distress. Still, recognizing the presence of her emotions did not explain to him the cause.

It was not that Jessa was scared of the medicine or Dr. Satis. It was more the ramifications of her accepting his help. During the other times, she had received treatment, which was the punctured jugular and broken arm, the crew actively treated her without getting her permission directly. Jessa had reconciled this as her not accepting their aid but simply receiving it without a choice. Now Jessa had a choice and it felt overwhelming. It was against the rules to seek aid from anyone other than a Galactic Union divine healer and yet here Jessa was. She was alone, scared, and just giving the adjudicator in her future more reasons to vote in favor of a cleansing. “Or I can just get better in time right?” Her question lacked any spirit or conviction. It was as if Jessa wanted someone to make a choice for her and she did not need to assume any responsibility for it. This was a far different response than she normally put up with the adults.

Jessa Novar and Ian Bordeaux

Bren felt his left eyebrow rise as he pondered her question. The answer was ‘yes’ she could get better in time, but that wasn’t the best course of treatment and he didn’t sense it was the answer Jessa truly wanted to hear. So it wasn’t the answer he gave her.

“It’s my job to do what’s best for you, Jessa, and this is what’s best for you. See, Commander Bordeaux is already feeling a bit better,” Bren looked to Ian to show some sign that, yes, he was on the mend.

“Yep,” Ian gave a thumbs up but still was reclined on the bed with his eyes closed. “Doing just dandy.” The meds were working and Ian had been to the Academy. This was not the first time he had to use the body-cleansing drug after a weekend bender. Bren was right in that he would feel better within a quarter to half and hour but it was like experiencing an intense hangover for that small period of time before everything became normal again.

With that, Bren administered the hypospray to Jessa’s upper right arm.

Satis, MO

The meds Bren had previously given her caused Jessa’s reaction to be far less intense than Ian’s. Her headache was mild along with the nausea which caused only a minor stomachache. Still being a pre-teen Jessa reacted as if her symptoms were ten times more intense than Ian’s. Slumping back on the bed she flopped against Ian’s body generating a small oomphff sound from him before he dropped a hand over her body. If the two of them were not coming off a narcotic-induced high, the scene might have created a small aww moment to anyone seeing on the biobed. Without pain, one can not appreciate pleasure. Without sacrifice, one can not appreciate loss. “Without torment, one can not appreciate blessing. One must suffer pain, sacrifice, and torment to be guided to the path of enlightenment. Upon finding and walking the path, one can be assured their soul will not dwell in the obsidian void of hell but flourish in the light of God’s truth,” Jessa recanted a mantra she had memorized only to have Ian place a hand over her mouth as if he were half asleep.

“Shhhhhh,” Ian stated before removing his hand. Enough kool-aide babble kiddo, he thought to himself.

Bren watched Jessa physically relax. It wasn’t uncommon for mutterings to escape patients as their levels of adrenaline lowered and the effects of the narcotics lessened. Ian seemed to have Jessa in hand and Bren felt comfortable moving to a work station several steps away from their biobed. There was no use in hovering, and he was interested in learning more about what Jessa’s workup would reveal about the nanites in her system.

Within five minutes, Jessa sat up and began to look around the room indicating the meds were working exactly as expected. Instead of relief, her face and voice held deep concern as she spoke. “Dr. Satis,” she called out.

The Betazoid turned to look back at the biobed where Jessa sat up, eyes on him. His dark eyes showed concern as well as curiosity.

“Dr. Satis I…I need you to scan me. I…I need you to do it right now.” Her tone was becoming more distressed and fear had replaced the sadness from earlier. The scan would show she was in perfect health which meant she was more in mental distress than physical.

Bren moved to her bedside. Her vitals were reported in real time on the nearby wall display, but he unfolded his tricorder and ran its peripheral scanner over her form anticipating that only a proactive approach would satisfy the girl’s anxiety.

“I need to see the results,” her tone was demanding and agitated not believing or trusting what the doctor was going to say. Coming here and representing the Union was infinitely harder than she ever expected or imagined. At home, it was easy to follow all the rules and every hour here Jessa seemed to break another commandment of her Order. How adults did not give in to pain, misery, or sickness was becoming confusing to her. The Elders had warned her these people would trick her into accepting their help which would ultimately condemn her soul and yet each time she needed help they gave it so effortless it was hard to remember how to refuse it. If the device showed any traces that the medical staff had helped her and she willingly accepted that help, the ramifications would be hard to deal with later.

Jessa Novar

Bren looked from Jessa to Ian before folding his tricorder and placing it in the pocket of his lab coat.

“Jessa, before I show you the results, which show no cause for alarm, why don’t you tell me how you feel.”

Bren recognized that he was no longer dealing solely with physical symptoms, if he’d ever been limited to that with Jessa, and he needed to assess if a mental health expert was needed to assist.

Satis, MO

“I feel,” she started and paused. If she lied, he might just scan her with his device and know everything anyway. All her dealings with the crew of the ship told her that medical made sure that anyone who came to them for care received it. “I don’t feel sick anymore or confused. I don’t feel like I running a race while sitting down.” The more she began to talk, the more she found his question hard to answer. Nothing felt bad or hurt but she did not feel 100% like herself. Maybe it was because of the question she was about to ask him.

“I am just worried,” she said in a softer tone. “I have done so many things wrong here but compiling one mistake on another is not good ever. I know we are not supposed to lie but can we not ever mention I came here seeking medical assistance? We have our nanites and our own medical service so we are not supposed to take from others that are less fortunate than me. Ian and Jack said you have enough supplies but I am not sure the adjudicator will care when they send me to the Altar of Cleansing. Maybe we keep it to ourselves. Like a secret,” she asked not looking at the doctor. It would be apparent to anyone looking at Jessa, she was very nervous about what she was asking and tensely waiting to hear how Dr. Bren Satis would respond.

Jessa Novar


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