Original Content Transcripts 2: Chapter 2

#1
Previous: https://arkmuse.org/threads/transcripts-2-chapter-1.230/

Chapter 2
Written by Squiggle Story Studios (Michelle Hodgson), edited by Steeveeo (Steve Green)

Operations Manager Isk stood within the empty halls of the medical ward, unsettled. His lower set of hands held onto the dataslate tightly, his brown antennae twitched as the device read out the list of damages.
Almost half the staff of Uleesia station had been incapacitated in an instant. The other half held in quarantine as far away from the volatile subject responsible as physically possible.
The entire facility on lockdown, for everyone's safety.
Isk completely cleared his schedule, sent numerous urgent reports to Essander Corp HQ about the incident, and shifted everyone still conscious down below the security wing. He had people resting in the hydroponics rooms, storage, and even the docking bay. The only staff allowed above were the medical staff, who were vital in stabilizing the staff members affected by the Freq-bomb, at the very least until the company’s auditors could assess the situation.
The loss of Contribution Credits from the immobilization of the station, as well as the loss of staff assets, could possibly have just negated any profit from accepting this venture. This event would have exacted a large toll on this contract of Lieutenant Commander Nako’s, and Isk wasn’t sure the contract insurance would be able to cover the exorbitant damages incurred.
But it would a be long time before anyone would have the time to listen to the contractual details. For now, Isk’s primary concern was ensuring that his remaining staff were protected from the alien threat.

-*-

Isk made his way up to the medical wing, as he needed to request Chief Medical Officer Krydon’s final assessment before he could send an update to HQ. However, he was stopped in his tracks when confronted with the sight of CMO Krydon discussing staff member holomaps with an unauthorized participant. Isk’s wings flapped under his grey scrubs and stormed towards the pair in a fury.
“Dr. Jess!” he fumed, “What are you doing out of quarantine?!”
Dr. Kyda Jess snapped her head up in shock, and offered an excuse for her grievous disregard for protocol.
“I am here at CMO Krydon’s request,” she replied, a clawed hand clinging to her dataslate for support, her lavender coloured scales paling as she tried to explain. “I have the necessary training to administer chems and have been assisting in the diagnosis of the affected assets.”
CMO Krydon snorted, nodding his head as he adjusted the live feed of the medical holomaps on display. Everyone on the Uleesia Station staff was fitted with a transmitter that relayed a constant feed of the patient's current medical condition. Blood pressure, nutrient intake, nerve condition, stress, cell growth, every measurable instance that could be monitored was.

“Since the damage caused by Subject Jasmine on our staff members was so extensive, a second pair of eyes has been most enlightening.” Dr Krydon added, returning to inspect the holomaps.

Enlightening?!” Isk snapped, back arching as his wings fanned out in full display, “It's practically a warzone in here!” Isk’s right arms cast a damning conviction as he pointed to the full ward. Twenty pods lined in the testing room, each with a comatose body. A harrowing sight for a citizen not normally exposed to such dangers.

“It is not a warzone, Isk,” Krydon sighed dully. “I’m sure we are quite safe now, the Subject has been contained and is secure inside a Freq-proof room.-”

“It should never have been allowed to walk around unsecured in the first place!” Isk snapped, guilt fueling his anger. “We should have put it in a Freq-proof room after the first incident with the User. The minute it took control of the entire staff without effort...”

“Research is not without its risks,” Jess reminded him, her own voice tinged with bitterness, “And if we had locked it away in a Freq-proof room, I doubt we would have collected nearly as much data. From all the video and audio files I've studied, Subject Jasmine would have grown even more hostile should we have tried to isolate her.”
Isk’s wings fluttered threateningly before he folded them back into his scrubs.

“Alright then,” he hissed, “Since you’re the expert, how exactly shall we proceed?”

Jess blinked, her jaw opened ever so slightly in shock. “Uh, I don't understand-”

“You said you’ve studied the Subject,” the tall insectoid loomed over the young saurian, all six eyes staring her down. “How do we proceed so this catastrophe will not be repeated?”

Dr Jess took a step back before ruffling her own shoulders, she and Isk were the same rank, he had no right to try and intimidate her!

“So far, Subject Jasmine has only acted out in sudden moments of distress,” she explained to the operations manager, “And Dr. Xant has been so excited to study Subject Jasmine that he has been pressing matters and information that he isn’t remotely equipped for. He has done a remarkable job of winning her trust, which is possibly what saved him from the massive Freq-pulse.”

“Saved him? Explain.”

“Here, look at this,” Jess snapped, trying to not let Isk’s coldness get to her. She flicked her tail to bring up several of the active brain scans of the patients onto the holomap all at once for a comparison. “Ever since I was privy to the information regarding Dr. Duuarn’s condition after the second incident, I've been doing my own research into the exposure effects Subject Jasmine has been having on the other members of staff.”
“Subject Jasmine’s Freq-bomb exposure has burned and cauterised several neural pathways in the staff members’ brain matter,” she explained, hands and tail manipulating the controls simultaneously. Dr. Jess switched the holo-display to focus on three subjects in particular, Dr. Duuarn, Dr Xant, and one of the maintenance crew. “The amount of damage Subject Jasmine’s Freq-bomb can cause to citizens is phenomenal, on par with other known military units! The burnt nerves account for almost 30% of total brain function, enough to completely stiff or destroy any citizen unit. Her Freq signals have completely overloaded the normal citizen nerves; there is simply too much energy for the nervous system to handle, so it burns into living tissue, making new paths to disperse the energy. That was the damage caused by one human Freq-pulse, the highest recorded Frequency our equipment could measure. It is certainly a marvel that no one in that ward expired on the spot!”

Isk folded both pairs of arms.
“They’re all stable?” he asked, suspiciously. Jess nodded, bringing up Dr. Duuarn’s three previous scans.

“Dr. Duuarn’s current status,” she pointed out the progression of the Freq-burns in his brain. “As you can see, the same Freq-burns are present in Dr. Duuarn, but activity is still present within the damaged nerves. Thanks to CMO Krydon’s restorative skills, Dr. Duuarn was able to survive the pulse relatively intact from the Subject’s Frequency Aggression. His motor skills are slowly returning, but his personality has been altered completely.” Dr. Jess paused, her tongue licking her sharp teeth, looking down at her dataslate ruefully. “Where once he was ambitious and confident, he is now a poor imitation of his former self. Passive, uninterested in further academic pursuits. One could say that he is no longer a threat.” Isk’s antennae stood up at Jess’s throwaway comment, but he didn't interrupt her.
“Which brings us to Dr. Xant’s scans.” Jess flicked up the last four scans of Dr. Xant, the differences between them were astonishing. The last piece of the puzzle was laid out before Isk and his simmering anger plummeted straight into horror. Xant’s brain had been completely altered from the bio-scans less than a week ago! Where Duuarn and the staff members were incapacitated with nerve burnout, Xant’s brain was thriving with activity!

“Dr. Xant has had more exposure to The Subject than anyone else aboard the station. But unlike the other staff members, he has been stimulated rather than burned. Dr. Xant has grown more sociable and confident in the last few days; I mean, he even complimented me in the last meeting!” Jess looked away bashfully for a moment and cleared her throat. “The point is, Subject Jasmine’s Freq can deliver both negative and positive effects based on her motives.”

“So quarantine is the best course of action,” Isk noted, pulling out his dataslate.

“But not in isolation!” Jess added quickly. “Subject Jasmine may be prone to more outbursts if we restrict her now.”

“Quarantine is defined by isolation…” Isk replied flatly.

“Yes, but, if we remove the ‘dogs’, I can guarantee she will become more aggressive.” She swished her tail in thought, “It might be better to isolate everyone who has had ‘positive’ reactions to Subject Jasmine.”
Isk did not approve of Jess’s suggestion. The last thing he wanted was for the unknown Rajavan specimen to gain more of a foothold with the staff. If she had already brought the captain and the executive director to her side, there could even be the possibility of a coup! Everyone she approved of was fine, everyone who got in her way was altered.

Everything about this alien was terrifyingly powerful and unknown. They weren't equipped to handle this.

“So, keep her Grace isolated and happy…” Isk muttered under his breath, “And ask the Lieutenant Commander to remove her from our facility as quickly as possible.” Too many times the Alien Subject’s actions had been overlooked by his superiors in the name of a smooth First Contact transition. This could no longer be ignored.

“Do you concur with Dr. Jess’s conclusions, CMO?” Isk queried for confirmation.
The old doctor picked his teeth, and replied with a sinister grin. “More or less,” He wiped his drool covered claw on his white coat before using the same hand to send Isk a report from the holo-display. “I have the entire event recorded with brain scans at Dr. Jess’s insistence, and I’ve gone ahead and created a list of all affected staff assets.”

The Operations Manager scanned the list, nodding his head with a new determination. “This is drastic, but it must be done. I’ll input the list of names into the station system so it can recognise the new chain of command.” He tucked the dataslate under his arm. “The new security team and staff members will be arriving in [4 hours]. Since we have agreed to isolate affected staff, protocol dictates that both ED Laandi and DH Xant are to be temporarily relieved of command. CMO Krydon, as the longest-serving member of staff, you will be promoted to Acting Executive Director-”

“I’ll refrain if you don't mind,” Krydon interrupted, picking another part of his gums. “I have too many patients to look after to be some Arvas’ prince’s tour guide.”

“In that case, since I have to remain as Operations Manager, Dr. Jess, you are hereby promoted from Department Head to Acting Executive Director. Please meet me and Captain Rynard at the Docks in [4 hours] to welcome aboard the new crew.”
Jess blinked, and nodded her head slowly. “I-I accept, OM Isk-”
But the manager swiftly turned away, furiously tapping his dataslate to input the new chain of command. He only hoped he had enough time to ensure the handover went smoothly.

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#2
Can't wait to see what Is does when he realises there's an entire planet of "unacceptable risks" somewhere out there, who may take offence at the first of their kind being mistreated.
Also Jess is a schemey schemey witch
 
#4
I was enjoying this chapter and was eager to click the link to the next part except... that's not the link to the next part. That's the "report abuse" button. I thought it had to do with the story what with the chapter name "Incident Report". May want to move the next chapter link to the top to avoid confusion.
 
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